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poodle

Where should I Print? (kinkos)

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VectorWorks 11 (Architect, Landmark, Renderworks)

Mac OS X 10.3

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I want to use VW for design, city planning department submissions and detailed building drawings.

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I do not have a large format printer/plotter so I will need to go out of house to print my drawings.

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Questions:

1. How important is it to know your output device before creating/ working on a document? Are there advantages to knowing your output device up front?

2. Is kinkos a good place to go for printing?

3. What print shops are recommended (Oakland, CA)?

4. Is there any advatage outputting files as PDFs? Is this easy and reliable to do?

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You can go to Kinko's but I expect that they will be the most expensive. If you are going to do regular plotting, then set up an account at a local reprographics house, (what we used to call blueprinters).

My repro house accepts PDF files by email. I print to PDF and email it to them as an attachment. They print on an electrostatic printer and deliver it back to my door, or deliver it elsewhere if I choose.

Don't know about Oakland. Look them up in the Yellow Pages.

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pdf's are the best way to go when sending your drawings out to printers, or anyone else for that matter. we have had great success with this feature with our output service. you will, though, need some sort of printer driver to set your page size correctly- i don't know if a custom size will work as well for large full size plots. you'll have to do some testing with the selected output service. hope this helps...

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Poodle,

My two cents (others may disagree): Find out how much it will cost you to plot each sheet at an outside location (where by the way you will have very little *direct* control over the output, will need to fuss with settings, etc, etc). Now reduce that price to about 2/3 and remember that number. Now go to ebay (or any HP reseller) and price a used (refurbished?) Design Jet 430 (or any other model for that matter). Take the price of the plotter and divide it by the number (remembered from above). This is the number of sheets you need to plot to pay for the plotter. In what period of time will you plot this many sheets? One year? Two? Now you have your very own plotter (I paid under $800 for my 230 about 3 years ago). You are also giving your client a really good deal on plotting (remember, you're charging them only 2/3 of what they would pay otherwise), and you're saving yourself lots of time not having to run back & forth to pick up plots, etc. You also will have total "in-house" control of your output. :-)

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Poodle,

If your local reprographics house has the VW Viewer, you can e-mail your VW files to him and he can then open and print as per your instructions. The e-mail factor saves a lot of time. Our reprographics guy is 35 miles distant, but when I am away (traveling) he is just as accessible. All that is necessary is a good phone line.

cadmando

MacG4 / VW 10

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Why would you want to use the VW Viewer as opposed to using PDF file? Would you not need to instruct the reprographics house on what sheets to print when using the viewer. I seems to me it would be much simpler to send a PDF.

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I concur with Kevin

PDF is much safer because wysiwyg.

I have a graphic artist friend who only uses PDF files with numerous print houses because of this. Through experience he has found that it reduces the likelihood of bad print outcomes to very low levels.

Other plusses are:

- Almost everyone knows how to open and print a PDF document

- The file sizes are smaller for emailing.

- You don't have uncontrolled copies of your drawing files out there.

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When you call around for prices, ask if there is an extra charge for printing the first set of a multi-copy order. Some reprographics shops charge a plotting fee (also called ripping) for the first set even when you give them PDF files instead of plot files. Last time I checked Kinkos only charged for the copies.

I have 36" wide Calcomp 720c inkjet plotter gathering dust in the corner. It did a nice job more than half the time when I used it, but nowhere near as nice as the ouput from a reprographics shop. I'll use it again if I move away from an urban area...maybe not.

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Re printer driver

I simply create custom pages for "Any Printer" Mac OSX

Never a problem so far

Since reprographics shops print from rolls you can specify goofy sizes, like 36x25. Sometimes it's easier to use slightly larger paper.

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As Andy has suggested, using the "create custom pages" I create PDF files at 22x34 size which also allows me to print half size sets on 11x17 sheets exactly at half scale (i.e. 1/4"=1'-0" on the 22x34 sheets and 1/8"=1'-0" on the 11x17 sheets).

Don

PowerMac G4, Mac OS X 3.7

VW11.0.1, Architect, RenderWorks

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