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Printer/Plotter Recommendations? - OSX Leopard, Vectorworks 2008



Our office is (finally) about to buy a new Large-Format CAD Printer/Plotter. We currently use an HP DesignJet 800PS but this has recently started printing very slowly from VW2008, and I have seen other users on this board with similar problems (mostly with HP Printers it seems).

In the absence of any guidance, can anyone recommend a reliable plotter for use with Mac OSX Leopard and VW2008? Here are our criteria:

? 30-35 Users

? Moslty used for CAD Drawings (mainly B&W but a number with colour fills)

? We would like to be able to print transparent blocks of colour accurately e.g. for shadows on elevations etc.

? We would also like to print occasional large-format presentation sheets in full colour and achieve a good level of colour matching with our screens. We have the in-house ability to create a colour-profile for a printer and would like to add this into a Photoshop/InDesign workflow.

We are considering the following machines, but if anyone has any other ideas (even if to just say "that one's crap...avoid it like the plague") then they would be greatly appreciated.

? Canon imagePROGRAF 720

? HP DesignJet T1100PS

? Epson Stylus Pro 9450


Nick Wharton

London, UK

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If slow printing your problem then the solution might be to use a third party plotter driver, X-Rip from Microspot. It smokes anything else I've ever used on my ancient HP 650C-PS. Printing usually starts within a few seconds of the spool window closing. The quality is as good as Postscript. I am currently using it with VectorWorks 2009 in Leopard 10.5.5 and it is working fine. I recently had some friends with a 15 person firm and an 800PS switch to X-Rip and it was a big improvement for them. Large color presentations in VectorWorks and large PDFs were taking hours to print, now they take minutes.

Even if you get a new plotter, you can get the non-PS version and save a $1000+.

Microspot is a UK company, but I couldn't find the price in ? or ?. It was $299 US.

Check it out and download demo at: http://www.microspot.com/products/xrip/index.htm

PS: Two caveats, it DOES require a security dongle on a "server" machine (I'm using and old G4-533 MHz ) and it will not run on OS X Server.

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Thank you; will look into that.

Has anyone else got any experience with any of the above plotters?

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