Which Wide Format Print Supplies Are Essential for Architecture and Engineering Firms?

Which Wide Format Print Supplies Are Essential for Architecture and Engineering Firms?

Architects and engineers have specific needs when it comes to wide format printing. The ability to print CAD drawings, renderings, and blueprints in a reliable, cost-effective way is of paramount importance.

This is very different from other wide format printer use cases. Marketing agencies and photographers have very different needs when it comes to wide format print supplies, and will often choose completely different print hardware options compared to the engineers and architects.

This puts architectural and engineering firms in a unique category when it comes to meeting their wide format print needs. Not only do they need specialized equipment, but they must also use specialized wide format printer media and toner to achieve industry standard results.

Industry-Specific Wide Format Print Supplies

While many architects and engineers may assume they are limited to using standard wide format printer paper for their projects, there are many different media types to choose from. These media options offer unique benefits that apply specifically to the concerns of architects and engineers.

1. Translucent Bond Paper

Design and engineering professionals who need to create presentation quality prints traditionally rely on vellum. HP’s translucent bond paper allows engineers an alternative media to create high precision drawings and check prints that are easily reproducible.

Translucent bond paper is a lighter weight paper that allows engineers to work on complex drawings and topographical maps with ease. This media type presents printed imagery with dense, dark blacks and crisply defined lines. It has been treated to provide translucency which is necessary for reproduction masters and overlay applications.


Architects and engineers have relied on Vellum for years for multiple uses. Vellum is a cotton-based material which offers both increased translucency and durability. The standard weight is a 20 lbs. bond, and it is non-erasable and treated for anti-yellowing. 

Vellum is the ideal solution for any architectural design professional who needs to create reproducible archive drawings. This media is designed to retain its image with precision for decades, allowing architects and engineers to communicate clearly with other professionals

3. Matte Film

Matte film is a useful media for architects and engineers when there Is a need for durability and dimensional stability, especially for archival printing. Matte film, often referred to as Mylar, is a four mm, double sided polyester film with a translucent coating allowing the user to plot as well as draw in pen and pencil.

Matte Film is most commonly used for the final, completed print, and can be stored for years because it won’t tear or discolor. It also creates highly translucent images for reproduction. 

4. Presentation Paper

Many design firms prefer to use a variety of presentation papers when presenting ideas to their clients or for final bid considerations. These papers can vary. A graphics coated matte paper is a heavier, bright white bond paper that has a special coating applied to allow the colors to appear more vibrant. Photo-based papers have a resin coating that makes the photos appear realistic and crisp. Fine Art papers can add a touch of antique styling to give prints that “hand done” look.

Toner vs. Inkjet for Architecture & Engineering Plotters

One of the main areas where architects’ and engineers’ print are unique is in print volume and cost-effectiveness. In both of these areas, laser toner offers superior performance to traditional inkjet-based print technologies.

With the exception of the Pagewide XL, Inkjet plotters are generally not designed to handle large print volumes. Those that can handle large volumes cannot do so in a cost-effective way. Wide format printers, like the Pagewide XL or are toner-based, can print extremely large document volumes without requiring recalibration or risking breakdown.

The difference in terms of cost per square foot of printing material can be significant. Operational costs of traditional inkjet wide format printers are much higher than those of laser printers. Combined with the different in durability between these two technologies, architects and engineers have much more to gain using plotters with the latest wide format printer toner options.

Have Kelley Imaging Provide Your Firm with Wide Format Print Supplies

Engineers and architects both need regular access to high quality wide format print supplies. Firms that entrust these tasks to in-house employees often find themselves working with subpar supplies ordered at inconvenient times. Put Kelley Imaging in charge of your print processes and ensure your office is always stocked with the finest imaging technology available.

Equip your architecture or engineering firm with best-in-class print technology that you can rely on. Talk to a Kelley Imaging representative to begin the process!

Supplies, Wide Format Print

Author: Kelley Imaging


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