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Greg Poulos

Need A Plotter for OSX

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Hi.

I am in the market for a plotter. We're relatively small, and don't print a lot. I think the HP120nr or the HP500ps are good choices (I'm not in favor of dropping a lot of $$$), but I'd like your opinions!

Do they print good line drawings? I'm not doing large renderings.

Can I get 24 x 36 (or close: 22x34 w/margins)?

I have VW 9.5.2 and run in OS 10.2.8

I will probably print over ethernet, but since my machine is the only one printing to the plotter... I can go USB

Any suggestions?

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I'm using the 120nr and it is going well with Panther and VW 10.5.1. Seems to me I've given it a whirl in 9.5.2 as well but not enough to say anything good or bad.

If you get the 120nr you may as well connect via ethernet for the speedier throughput. (The speed of the printer itself may be the weak link though.)

The 120nr is slow at higher qualities but the drawings look good. The printer itself is butt ugly and a bit noisy as the fan does not power down when the printer is at rest. (The printing process itself is not noisier than the fan.)

When I was shopping for a large format printer, I don't think the 500ps had drivers available for OS X yet, that is why I did not l look at it any further. (Just at the HP web site, and while there are no doubt workarounds, I still see nothing saying the 500 supports OS X. Seems to me I've read posts on the boards though of someone using it with OS X. Have you tried a search?)

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Gregg:

I have a 500ps on win2k. Vectorworks will not plot any grayed out layer without using the postscript driver. I don't know if NNA fixed this and it might become important as I understand OS 10 no longer requires PS to print.

Vectorworks will not plot a rendered elevation (also layerlinked) without first using the bitmap tool to render the elevation, which in turn bloats file size dramatically. NNA says its a HP problem, Hp says its a vectorworks problem.

I have not installed 10.5.1 yet to see if these issues were corrected or not. Typically they don't get fixed despite the large number of users who own this and the 800ps which uses the same driver.

I would suggest you take a good hard look at the printing message board as well as to check to see if HP is using the same driver for the machines you are considering.

Let us know what you find out.

Good luck.

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I have just purchased a HP 120nr for plotting. I have found no problems printing different size sheets (18"x24" & 24"x36") from the roll feeder. The color and line weights are excellent, clean and crisp. I have also used this printer for a photographic poster that printed very life like.

I use Mac OS 10.2.8, VectorWorks 9.5.2 and 10.1. I have hooked up the printer via USB. The wait time for the printer to respond after the print button is pressed is 1 minute 34 seconds. A typical residential floor plan printed on 18"x24" roll feed sheets takes about 2 minutes 18 seconds.

The fan noise is no louder than the fan on the back of my Mac. I have found that it does generate quite a bit of heat if left on all day.

The appearance is more modern than the old HP488 that it replaced. The size is quite bulky. I have a 24"x48" table dedicated just for the printer.

I have also had success refilling the ink cartridges myself (all six) using IMS inks purchased from Cost-Co for around 15 bucks. Quite a savings over the $240 replacement cost for original HP cartridges. The trick is not to over fill and use pressure on the pumps when sealing to create the negative pressure inside the well.

Summery: The HP120nr at around $1600 is a good plotter.

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I'm looking for a printer also, but I'm wondering what type of files people are sending to these printers. Our drawings are all based on 3D models and file size tends to be around 10mgs without importing objects like trees or textures for concrete. Are these recommendations being made in the context of 2D drawings or in the context of 3D drawings and then printing either in 2D view or printing renderings?

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I just recieved my 120nr. I plot mostly line CAD drawings in black and white on bond, trans bond, or vellum. I've spent hours testing every papertype and quality setting trying to get decent results. No luck, the bleed on the black lines and text is horrible (at least as compared with my old DJ 455CA ). "best" setting on "premium ink jet" paper is acceptable but the investment in paper and time is not. Built-it Hawaii: what paper type and quaity settings are you using? How are others in my situation plotting drafts and in-house docs? On a positive note, I love that the plotter is recognized natively in OSX and mo more converting to ps or pdf files. TIA, mark

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don't even think about the designjet 120...it is seemingly no recommended for CAD...as it will not print black on plain paper, in normal mode...i bought it...and now HP is letting me exchange with the designjet 500...

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