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graham

Best plotter for Mac/VW

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Graham,

A couple years ago I found an HP DesignJet 230 (by todays standards, and even back then, an "old" machine) on Ebay for around $800. Initial setup was somewhat painful, but in retrospect not all that bad. The thing works like a charm.

I have it running via ethernet (which requires an adapter for extra $$) and use Gimp Print (which is a free download) for a driver.

If I were doing it again I'd start in the same place: find a good used machine. Even if I had to repalce mine, I've gotten 3+ years of excellent service from it, and when I compare that to price of a new plotter it still looks pretty good.

Good Luck,

Peter Cipes

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I have an HP 455CA, bought in 1998. The HP software is buggy. After much time with tech support I finally got it to run under OS9. From time to time it will corrupt and require trashing files,etc.

There is no HP software for OS10. I am using Gimp Print and it works fine. It could be better and could be a lot faster. Printing under Gimp takes a long time. But for the price, (free), I cannot realy complain now can I?

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Needless to say, stay away from the hp 500ps. It's been a pain on the PC with this software, and judging from the experience of another local firm here (also using vectorworks), a nightmare on the mac. HP has shown no interest in upgrading the postscript rip that shipped with the plotter. I would want to know if the gimp software really works, before I would ever purchase this plotter.

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quote:

Originally posted by Kevin:

I have an HP 455CA, bought in 1998. The HP software is buggy. After much time with tech support I finally got it to run under OS9. From time to time it will corrupt and require trashing files,etc.

There is no HP software for OS10. I am using Gimp Print and it works fine. It could be better and could be a lot faster. Printing under Gimp takes a long time. But for the price, (free), I cannot realy complain now can I?

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Ignore my previous post... not sure what happened there.

I have an HP455CA too and can't get it to work with VectorWorks 10 at all (mac). Everytime I need to plot, I have to export to VW 9 and plot from there. This is a pain!

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I agree with CipesDesign's post, a used machine is a great way to go. We have a HP DesignJet 650C that was purchased used for a local blueprint service. That was over 5 years ago, and except for some minor paper rotatation gliches, it work great. The color output is especially excellent. Good luck!

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Our office has an HP DesignJet 800PS. We haven't entirely switched either to OS10 or to VW10, but I don't know of any problems between the computers that have switched and the plotter. We had a little trouble with our 1220 printer, but HP's Mac tech support was very helpful.

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I use a variety of printers and plotters and find the HP cp1700 to be great for the price (<$500) if you can live with print sizes of 13X19 or smaller. With cadd why not go smaller??? My opinion is that it is easy to get detail using cadd on a smaller format even if it means more sheets. p.s. I use VW10 on Windows2000.

If anyone has had an opportunity to use the new HP designjet 100 or 120 printers, I would like to know if they are as good. They will take up to a 24" wide sheet and are in the $1000 range.

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I'm using an HP250C which was a 1 year old demo unit when I bought it, maybe 6-8 years ago. I've spent about $900 on repairs/overhauls. It works well. Someday I'd like a printer with higher resolution since more and more my drawings contain image files. This is most desired on smaller prints. I used to plot from Mac OS9, but that was a pain. I now use X-Rip by Microspot. It costs, but it works fine in OS10. In fact, the neat thing about that software is that it supports pretty much the whole family of old HP inkjets. Only thing I don't like is that diagonal lines have a slightly exagerated thickness (sort of like how diagonal lines on screen seem slightly wider---I don't know where this problem comes from) so my drawings have a slightly heavier feel than I would like, but they communicate just as well.

I too have gotten my money's worth from this machine, since I bill clients for its output. It probably paid for itself in two years, as would a new machine. When I do buy another machine, I will probably buy a new one, but I would want to see the output first. And of course, software support is a big issue.

Donald

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We have an HP 455ca.. and use osX with the rip software running on classic. it works fine

either use the 455ca printer description from os9 in the osx printer description folder (it works fine) or use the hp 800 ps description (you'll have to create new page sizes based on the old 455 settings)

-make sure the hp rip software is running when you build the printer.

-you will use the settings in the print menu to plot to file under output options.. save file as a post script file (not pdf) and then drop onto your rip software icon running under classic and it should print just fine...

note: if you use the 455 description all of the usual print settings will be under the print dialogue, and if you use the 800ps then the settings can be adjusted upon loading the file into the rip software provided by hp.

works great just don't use any patterns below the first row or you will receive a 'free bad address' (we stopped using patterns all together)

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If you want A1 sheet I am working with an HP 120nr (Ethernet) for $1500 included the automatic rool and the Ethernet card. I have been working for 8 months and it worths the price.There is now a new model I think it is the 130 version but same price

Good luck for your search

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