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Printer suggestions



Does any one have any suggestions for a good workhorse printer that will print atleast 11 x 17? (Mac running 10.4) I've looked at the Canon i9900, the epson 2200 and HP 9800. The Canon and the epson both are a little over the top photo printer with 7 inks (pricey to run), and the HP has gotten bad reviews. All I want is a 4 ink printer that works well for printing drawings. Does any one have any suggestions?

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I'd encourage you to take a look at Epson's (now discontinued) 4000 (look for the Pro version if you need networking). It is a 7-color printer, but it takes the large cartridges (110ml or 220ml, if you leave the doors open) making the ink considerably more affordable. And, since you only replace the color that gets used, you're not buying a 4-color cartridge every time you use up the black.

The 4000 has an excellent workhorse reputation, superb software for the Mac and is very reasonably priced on eBay.

Good luck,

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Thanks alot for the info. The Epson 4000 looks to be a little to much for me, and I'd be a bit leary of buying a used printer on ebay. Right now I'd be using it mostly for my own uses (i.e. dimension a wall, or what ever, the way I want at home and print it out so that I can build it.) The larger format would be very helpful for this, but the "photo" aspect of all these printers would be over kill. Showing the client nice pictures isn't what I need it for either, but it would be nice to have that option.

It's great to be able to take a set of CAD drawings and figure out cut lists, stock etc. and have it all layed out the way I'm going to build it before I even get to the site in the morning.

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Take a look at HP I think they do a new model, a successor to my old Deskjet 1120 and 1220 for reasonable amount. Not up there with the photoprinters but if the old 1220 I use is to go by not bad either. Print A3+ size.

Its called the Deskjet 1280, take a look, for plans it should be fine.

Please note that in comparison to other companies, the replacement cartridges may be more expensive, but you are buying a cartridge with integral print head. On the others you can easily use up to half the ink in a cartridge just cleaning/priming the heads, where as with the HP they are new each cartridge change.


[ 02-12-2006, 06:45 AM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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We use the Canon i9900 with its 8 inks and it works nicely for us. It is quick and very quiet. It turns on whenever you send it a print, then shuts off again after a short while after printing to save energy. Almost all our plots are black line 11"x17", with the occasional color photo or rendering. The black is very rich. Colors prints are excellent as are photo on photo paper.

One reason we selected the Canon is that the ink is cheap. Unlike Epson (and HP?) they do not put chips on their ink cartridges, so you can refill them or use those made by others. We use compatible ink cartridges at about $3.50 each and not the Canon $12 ones. We can see no difference in the print quality with the cheaper inks. We do, however, have a box full of ink cartridges always on hand. If you run out of one color,the printer will warn you, but can be fooled to print with an empty cartridge, unlike an Epson printer we had that would not let us print when it thought it had run out of ink.

The Epson 2200 (now 2400?) uses Epson's UltraChrome inks, which are beautiful and light-fast, but expensive. Unless you are printing a lot of photos, it is probably more than you need.

I don't know about the HP 9800. HP produced a series of dud printers for a few years, but recently they have improved. Check to see what the printer cartridges cost at somewhere like LDproducts.com, as the cost of a replacement set of inks can quickly exceed the cost of the printer.

One disadvantage of the Canon is that the inks are water soluble, so if it is raining, the plots bleed. I think Epson's inks are waterproof.

[ 02-14-2006, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: altoids ]

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