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winnabagel

Plotter Choices

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Winnabagel, (interesting screen name. Are we traveling around in a land yacht eating deli food? Or maybe it's a contest?) Anyway, about plotters. I'm not sure what you mean by "entry level. " I can tell that I found an HP Design Jet 230 on Ebay about a year ago for under $800. It would have been a bargain even at $1000. As far as I know, you will also need a 3rd party PLOTTER DRIVER. The only one being written for macs is by a company called MicroSpot. If you want to print fast (and don't we all?) you may want to consider creating a small ethernet network (printing for me is up to 10 times faster). This will require yet more hardware (an ethernet hub and a printserver- the printserver is an adapter from your plotter to an ethernet cable). Okay, I know you're probably thinking "No way. This sounds like a giant hassle!" While I'll admit to a couple days of frustration when I first hooked all this stuff up, ultimately it was the most worthwhile business investment I've ever made. Not only can I print beautiful gray-scaled "d size" sheets in the privacy of my own office, I can also bill each one to the client(s) as a reimbursable. I've got it fugured out so the the equiptiment will pay for itself in about 2 years. If it is still around, it will earn $$$ for me every day. If you have more questions feel free to email me directly at <cipesp@mind.net>

Peter

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One option is the HP 500 (not the Postscipt model). I think it is the lowest priced HP color plotteravailable (around $2200) - you will need the optional HP-GL/2 Card ($375) and you will have to purchase a plotter driver (From Microspot, $400).If you plan on printing color plots at a resolution higher than 300 DPI you will need to purchase additional memory for the plotter.

If your willing to limit yourself to monochrome plots the HP 430 is an option ($1300). It includes the HP-GL/2 Language, but you will probably wantto purchase additional memory.

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I am a new Vectorworks user running VWA9 on an iMac DV. I am looking to buy a plotter, and I want to make sure I get something that is compatible with Vectorworks and my Macintosh. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to look for? I'd really like an "entry level" plotter, and I don't want to spend too much on it.

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Winnabagel:

Cipes is right. The plotter will pay for itself in time saved sending and formatting files to a print house. Billing clients for reimbursables will pay for the machine. I began with a epson 1520 (13x22 max size) then upgraded to a Hp 450c. After a year, sold the 450c which subsidized payment on a 500ps (I'm on win2k). The 600dpi color is awsome. I've printed presentations as big as 24x48" full color. The larger cartidge size is critical. My advice is buy as much plotter as you can afford. I bought my 42" 500ps on Buy.com. I also helped another firm in town purchase one (they had been battling formatting drawings to send to a print house). They can't believe how much time they save now.

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We use an Encad Cadjet 2 with the Microspot driver. Have had it for 3+ years, and it works great. E-size plots, 300 dpi (color too, though not "photo quality" by any means. Fairly fast, can plot in the background, roll feed with auto sheet cutter. Plotter paid for itself long ago and is still going strong. We charge clients $4.00 per plot (other architects charge up to $15!), and a roll of trans-bond is $18.00. shocked.gif" border="0

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We have owned a HP 488CA for about two years . The plotter works well, but the software driver has been a constant problem- the software will hang-up if you try to print more than two drawings at a time. This is a real problem if you are trying to print a large set of drawings, and it has been endlessly frustrating, especially for a machine that costs thousands of dollars. We have talk with HP about this several times. After try numerous "fixes" HP finally told us that they were aware of the problem with their software, but they do not have any plans to fix it.

As a result of this problem, we have been very disappointed with the HP product and service.

Unfortunately, I do not see any alternative to an HP postscript compatible plotter for our office. We have tested the Microspot driver, but it does not seem to provide plots of the same quality as the postscript driver.

The HP Postscript plotters are expensive, and I would try to get some assurance that the driver software functions correctly before purchasing one again.

How does the 500PS that repaced the 488CA work?

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We have owned a HP 488CA for about two years . The plotter works well, but the software driver has been a constant problem- the software will hang-up if you try to print more than two drawings at a time. This is a real problem if you are trying to print a large set of drawings, and it has been endlessly frustrating, especially for a machine that costs thousands of dollars. We have talk with HP about this several times. After try numerous "fixes" HP finally told us that they were aware of the problem with their software, but they do not have any plans to fix it.

As a result of this problem, we have been very disappointed with the HP product and service.

Unfortunately, I do not see any alternative to an HP postscript compatible plotter for our office. We have tested the Microspot driver, but it does not seem to provide plots of the same quality as the postscript driver.

The HP Postscript plotters are expensive, and I would try to get some assurance that the driver software functions correctly before purchasing one again.

How does the 500PS that repaced the 488CA work?

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quote:

Originally posted by CEA:
We have owned a HP 488CA for about two years . The plotter works well, but the software driver has been a constant problem- the software will hang-up if you try to print more than two drawings at a time. This is a real problem if you are trying to print a large set of drawings, and it has been endlessly frustrating, especially for a machine that costs thousands of dollars. We have talk with HP about this several times. After try numerous "fixes" HP finally told us that they were aware of the problem with their software, but they do not have any plans to fix it.

As a result of this problem, we have been very disappointed with the HP product and service.

Unfortunately, I do not see any alternative to an HP postscript compatible plotter for our office. We have tested the Microspot driver, but it does not seem to provide plots of the same quality as the postscript driver.

The HP Postscript plotters are expensive, and I would try to get some assurance that the driver software functions correctly before purchasing one again.

How does the 500PS that repaced the 488CA work?

I forgot to mention that we use Macs and OS9.1.

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