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what printer? D size; MAC; VW9.5; small network

Henry Finch


I'd like to hear suggestions for a D size (24" x 36") printer for MAC; VWA9.5, for one person or very small network. Black and white; some spot color would be good. This is a setup needed by many sole practitioner architects who use VWA. The printer is for construction documents and NOT fancy color output.

(I have an HP350C on powerplot that doesn't work anymore. Powerplot is discontinued and doesn't work with Mac sys9 I'm told.)

Many have said that the HP software postscript RIP is very flawed. I think that is what goes with the HP500ps. I see Macplot with a printer is an option. Or should I get a $450 wintel machine to output to an HP printer? Then would I get the nonpostscript HP500?

Is there an Epson or other company equivalent to the HP printers which is very low cost, say $2000, D size and works with MAC? ... and is reasonably fast? (1 to 4 minutes/print, line work mostly)

Henry Finch, ArchitectNewton MA USA CW

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The MacPlot Raster (GraphicPak) has been updated to work with VW9.5 and OSX, per my communication with MicroEnter(mircospot) There should be no problem driving your 350C with this new driver. If the plotter is still working why not just upgrade your driver. I use a HP330 for my relatively low plotting needs and this is the way I'm going to go in the near future.

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I would like to second that request! I certainly don't want to buy a wintel just to plot!

I am running in OS X. Seems difficult to locate plotters that work under OS X without paying $3,000.00 or more! (I could probably afford a used plotter for around $1,200.00).

I would be happy with a printer driver that can be loaded and operates under OS X so that I can export as pdf's and then email to Kinkos......and never mind the expense of a plotter at this time.

I use "print to pdf" which works well in OS 9; however, it is not supported in OS X and I loose some scale on the plots. OS X will not create a print to .pdf in 'D' size unless I have a driver.....

I'll try anything at this point!

Dave H.

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See the "Printer Solutions" topic in the "Tech Notes and How To Suggestions" discussion area. This has some good advice on creating PDF files. You can easily create PDF files from OSX, just download an OSX driver for the HP 800PS or 1055CM plotter and use it to create D size PDFs.

It may be difficult to find an inexpensive plotter for the Mac. I have read that the Microspot plotter driver is now available in a beta test version for OSX. Until this driver is available, I think you may be limited to a few HP plotters under OSX.

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My problem now is getting the 350C to work. It wasn't used for a month and since (10 months) it constantly gives bad cartridge errors. There are only so many new cartridges you want to stick in the thing at $34 each x 4. A repair place says it isn't supported by HP any more? And it's print head needs replacing?? I have found a page on HP tech help on cleaning more than just the cartridge heads.

The secret to the machine as I've heard is printing at least one sheet a week. (Or take out and store cartridges in ziplock baggies with a drop of water.)

People do complain about the lack of drivers for the Mac, and NNA not addressing the issue. But as you say, Micrpspot takes care of it. A friend with Archicad uses an Encad cadjet 2 with the driver from Archicad but he had to pay $4000 or so for archicad and much more for upgrades than VW.

I guess the low cost option for sole practitioners is an HP 430, D size, black only, (I just saw it new for $1283, usually $1495.) and Macplot. That's less than 2 grand. Or the HP500 ($2500.?), (black, red, yellow, blue cartridges make for lots of color), used with Macplot?? or Encad cadjet 2 (black and one combo color cartridge) with Macplot. Most of the other printers are much more money for workgroups. The other HPs are 4 grand and up.

We use the Epson 3000 which comes with good postscript rip, 17" wide x long which was $850 refurb and now $900 or so new, with giant color cartridges, poor sheet feeding, but prints most of 17" wide as compared to Epson 1520.


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I just found a great web site for wide format printer reviews and info. I want to buy a new plotter and they are realy helpful.


these guys know there stuff and do not recomend any thing outher than HP's. The have lots of evaluation reports on all the plotters out there. Also I emailed microspot about the mac plot drivers for OSX and they said they are in the works and not out yet. They also seem kind of pricy for network solutions. I like to put my money inot hardware vs software.


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