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11x17 laser printing



Is there such a thing as an 11x17 laser printer that is compatible with vector works and OSX?

I am on the verge of starting up a fulltime engineering office, and I am afraid this capability is very important to me and to the project I am currently bidding.

I have been using Vectorworks on Epson 1280 with no problems; however, I desperately need the speed. I despise Autocad....paper space/model space....Aghhh.

Please advise.



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Most of epson's new printers and HP's new printers will print 11x17.

The 1280 should be able to print 11x17.

Are you using Epson's driver or GImp Print?

If you are using Epson's driver, you may want to give Gimp Print a go.

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Thanks for the reply, I will try this GIMP printing.

By the way, I am currently using an Epson 1280, I am looking for laser speed. I checked out the HP web site, there is an HP 5100tn that looks like it will do the job.

Will be calling HP rep. to confirm compatability.

Thanks for the help.


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We have a Xante 3N laser printer. It will print 12X18 as well as 11 X17 sheets, which is great for printing 1/2 size 24X36 drawings.

I was so tired of all the problems with our HP 488CA plotter that I decided to try another printer manufacturer. We have had the printer for about 18 months now, and have had no problems, and their tech support was very responsive in helping us switch to Mac OSX.

I believe they Xante now has a newer model available. They seem to specialize in larger format laser printers for graphics.

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The GCC laser looks very good. Price is right and sheet sizes are perfect!

I do have a question regarding you statement concerning the postcript adobe fonts. I use a font add on to Vectorworks called "Architects Font Pak"

Will this give me trouble with the laser printer? Perhaps, the fonts can be loaded into the laser printer? Same issue with the HP120 plotter?

Or maybe I should just give up on the idea of using these custom fonts?

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I guess what confuses me on this issue is that the laser printer that I am now looking at (GCC; Elite XL20) indicates 35 postscrip fonts? Does that make Sketcher no. 36? or as you say, no issue, the postscrip will work fine?

Currently I use the Truetype, since I am not using postscript printers...I will have to change to the postscript.

One more question, will postscript work with an HP plotter (HP120?)

Thanks for the help.

Again, this board is a great resource to me.

Dave Harper PE

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When using a font pack or font suitcase, you have to make sure you have all parts of the font in the fonts folder. Missing the post script font or the bitmap font will cause problems.

Font Suitcases have to be perfect to go without printing problems.

THe HP 1220c (i'm not sure if that's what you were referring to or not - i'm not familiar with a 120) .. has some issues on the driver end. Apple and HP are still working on that.

THey have alternate drivers you can use thta do work.

THe problem is when printing landscape - the page will revert to portrait no matter what.

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It should not matter to the printer if you are using postscript fonts or truetype fonts. The "35 fonts" are (probably) loaded into the printer's rom. The printer also has some ram, which might be upgradeable. You might also be able to add an external hard drive. Anyway, depending on the printer you may be able to download postscript fonts that you often use to the printer. This can save time during printing. With today's printer speeds, networking speeds, and processor speeds-- and your printing volume-- it should not be an issue.

What I was talking about was Adobe's Postscript printer control language. Apple has used postscript printer drivers for a very long time to communicate with (primarily) laser printers. It is a safe bet that they will continue to support ps printers natively in future operating system updates. The important thing about that is you will not have to wait for the printer vendor to update a printer driver. An example would be that our HP 1055cm plotter worked with Mac OSX public beta when it came out years ago.

Also, some companies emulate postscript to avoid paying adobe royalties. Some companies like HP have both emulated postscript as well as real postscript. When you see "postscript compatible" listed it is usually a good bet that it is not real postscript. Sometimes the emulation is very good. Sometimes it can be problematic.

BTW, if you upgrade you printer RAM don't buy it from the printer vendor. Find out what kind of RAM it is and buy it from someone like thechipmerchant.com. I paid $16 for a SIMM that Lexmark had listed for somewhere around $300 on their site.

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I am currently using a GCC Elite XL20/1200 for 11x17 prints and I love it.

I am still on OS 9.2.2 so I don't know about OSX yet but I am upgrading in a week so I guess I will find out.

The printer is true postscript and very easy to network to a MAC.

It has 35 fonts resident in ROM but you can set the driver to upload any missing font to the printer.

This means if you are printing a file with a font the printer doesn't have it will upload it to the printer as long as you have the postscript font in your computer.

I would highly recommend looking at this solution.

Also I am sure that GCC can tell you about OSX compatibility.

Hope this helps.


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Some of the GCC printers needed a ROM update to work with OSX-- so Greg might have a problem if his printer is old enough-- but all the shipping printers should be fine. My understanding is that GCC was fixing the issue for free but that they don't use flash ROM so you had to send something in to them for an exchange. Check their site for more info.

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