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Older DesignJet Plotters/printers

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Is there anyone out there using one of the older HP designjets without having to resort to x-rip for Mac? I was thinking you could send a VW file to the printers via OS-9 or even via vm-ware etc. Looking for ideas to avoid spending $400 on x-rip.

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I've responded to your duplicate post on this subject.

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And I assume you've tried all of the GIMP drivers? Hint: sometimes you can 'cheat' the GIMP drivers by selecting a similarly designed HP (for example I seem to remember using the 330 driver to drive a 230, or something like that.)

Usually, if you can get your computer and your plotter 'talking' to each other you can fiddle the settings to make it work...

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The GIMP drivers for the 455 will provide you a low-level printing result with that printer - it's not fully supported by GIMP.

You'll find objects dropped from plots, jagged lines, does not support quartz imaging, line weights are not printed proportionately, among other issues I've observed.

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Thanks Peter, will try this first before spending $300 on x-rip. unfortunately the unit arrived damaged so I have to get a replacement foot which holds the paper spool first before I can try all this stuff. I'm really new at this so don't have a source for parts on these older units either. have found that new ones are available from HP though, at a price of course. Thanks again for you suggestions.

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Katie, I read your note. I was just thinking that other users might have had some limited success without spending $400 on x-rip and been half way satisfied. I don't want stuff dropped so may have to consider either buying x-rip or going for a different used printer that is compatible with the current shipping version of VW.

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I'd go with a different plotter, personally. The 455 is a dated plotter at this point. It's costly to repair, the built in memory is very limited (you'll end up running out of memory to print VW files over 20 MB and anything with transparency will choke), the inks are expensive, and it's hard to find a repair center that will service that plotter at this point in the game.

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MAC OS 10.4 comes with drivers for the HP 488CA. The printer works much better with the apple supplied GIMP drivers than the very poor HP drivers the printer originally shipped with.

I have not had any trouble using the 488CA to print black and white and grayscale drawings. I've never used it for color.

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hope you can help:

i just switched from pc to apple.

(imac intel core 2 duo, 2.4 ghz, panther operating system)

vectorworks 12.5.

the plotter is the issue: have an old hp 430. no driver for mac. i don't plot more than 20 black and white sheets a month, but need the 24" width, and roll paper.

i wonder which is the best option in the long run, short run, economically, functionally... x-rip? printer server? new/used plotter (recommendations appreciated--don't need color)

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The driver is built right into the OS. Very easy to set up. Make sure the plotter is connected to the computer (via USB or Ethernet), go to System Pref's then click on Printer (or Print & Fax,,, I can't remember what Apple called it in Panther). Click on the little "+" sign or select Add Printer. Navigate to your plotter and select the correct Mfr & Model in the pulldowns, click OK. You should be good to go. You will probably need to set up a Custom Sheet for the 24 x 36, but that's easy too. Welcome to Mac, welcome to the Tech Forum, Happy New Year!

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Hi there, we have exactly the same printer. We solved the problem by having an older mac running on os9 attached to our network, & using this as a "print server". We set up in OSX a dummy plotter & then always save/print our plans as "save PDF as Postscript..." in the print field.

Once saved we go to our old mac & print thru the original HP print software. It sounds a bit complicated but it isn't too bad, sometimes it's even better - you can always throw the print away before you print if you realise there is a mistake.

We have got all the programmes if you need the let me know. Good luck...

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Is there anyone out there using one of the older HP designjets without having to resort to x-rip for Mac? I was thinking you could send a VW file to the printers via OS-9 or even via vm-ware etc. Looking for ideas to avoid spending $400 on x-rip.

I have tried the X-Rip demo, have you? I don't think you'll get nice print quality.

If you have an older Mac that still supports OS9, MacPlot (the older version of X-Rip) produces much nicer plotter output.

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MTB, I used an old HP designjet600 with MacPlot and OS9. Good B/W prints, a mess with the plotter workflow... need to have a dedicated Mac+OS9 as plotter server.

Draw on Macs with OSX, save and open back on the Mac+OS9 as plotter server with VW viewer (stick to release 11, older don't work on OS9).

A little tricky but works great.

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This morning after several weeks of trying to get my old HP DesignJet 650c/ps to work with OSX Leopard on my Intel MBP - I finally had success. I was all ready to set up an old G4 as an OS9 print server, but no more (knock on wood). But now I can print directly from VW2008. I'm very very happy.

I was using ESP Print Pro in 10.4.11, but it wouldn't work under 10.5 (at least for me). And since Easy Software is no longer selling or supporting that software, I needed a new solution. (FYI- installing and then uninstalling ESP Print Pro kind of messed up my CUPS installation, I probably will need to Archive & Install OSX Leopard again to fix it).

I found the solution that worked for me on this page: OpenPrinting/MacOSX/foomatic - The Linux Foundation.

The Postscript quality using the Foomatic driver is not quite as good as I was getting from ESP Print Pro, but it's close. It's definitely good enough for me to forget about setting up an OS9 plot server. And MUCH better quality than X-Rip (I tried a demo of that, and was very disappointed).

The printing speed with Foomatic-RIP is about the same as it was under ESP Print Pro ~ about 5-10 minutes for a Arch D (24"x36") sheet.

Let me know if you need more info, it took much patience.

Tim

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