Which Wide-Format Printer Solutions Work Best for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Firms?

Which Wide-Format Printer Solutions Work Best for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Firms?

Architects, engineers and construction firms have special needs when it comes to wide-format printing. Not only do they need fast, accurate printing, but they need it on-demand and often in challenging environments.

Anyone who has ever brought an unlaminated, unprotected blueprint to a construction site knows too well what kind of pitfalls await. Dirt, water, and other environmental factors all threaten the consistency of your prized plans, without which no work can continue.

This puts a premium on durability while print manufacturers push onwards to develop better and faster ways to create accurate drawings and blueprints. HP technology is a forerunner in the race to develop more efficient wide-format solutions for businesses in this industry.

In particular, the HP DesignJet series incorporates state-of-the-art technology to create documents with inks that resist water damage and won't fade over time. Some of the manufacturer's hybrid printers are even better, adding in color capabilities not otherwise available in the construction and architecture industries.

How HP DesignJet T and Z Series Create Value for Architects, Engineers, and Construction Professionals

Any architectural or engineering printer needs to offer a degree of precision and consistency not often found in desktop printers. Additionally, they need to be durable enough to handle high production runs and, in the case of construction firms, even be brought on-site in some cases.

The HP DesignJet series of printers includes the budget-friendly T-Series as well as the more robust Z-Series wide-format printers. When it comes to wide-format printing for construction companies, choosing between these printers can be a challenge.

Pigment-Based Ink Technology for Durable Prints

The T-series includes some of the most affordable wide-format printers on the market. However, HP DesignJet T-series printers use dye-based color inks that can fade over time. The superior Z-series inks are pigment-based, which means they can retain color depth and brilliance literally for centuries.

This may not be a deal-breaker for some construction firms and architects. For instance, when it comes to wide-format printing for architecture firms, you may not need to hold on to a particular blueprint longer than the duration of the construction project itself. Your digital printing products don't need to last as long, and so you wouldn't worry about dye-based inks fading over time.

In either case, both printers use powerful pigment-based black ink, ensuring that your documents enjoy the deepest, most uniform black available. But there are other reasons to use pigment-based inks.

For instance, pigment-based inks are water-resistant. This can be very important on a construction worksite where blueprints may be exposed to water, rain, or simple overnight condensation.   When used in conjunction with the correct waterproof media, you can eliminate the need to laminate your work. 

HP Dual Drop Technology

One of the most exciting developments HP has recently made public is its Dual Drop technology feature. Currently exclusive to the latest Z-series printers, it uses HP High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) and special high-definition print heads to achieve industry-leading details and color contrasts while supporting high-gloss output.

At the same time, it allows the latest Z-series printers to create photograph-quality prints using only nine colors, rather than 12, as most of the leading printers in their product range.

T-Series Affordability and Utility

When construction and architecture firms don't need glossy, photograph-quality color, the T-series lineup of architectural drawing printers offers the perfect solution for efficient blueprint printing. For instance, the HP T830 allows any authorized user to easily print entire project sets from their mobile phone or tablet while enjoying low per-page printing costs.

These printers feature industry-best line accuracy of 0.1% and a sharpness of detail that goes down 0.02 millimeters at 2400 dpi. At the same time, these affordable machines support smart scanning technology, which protects original documents while drawing precise colors from them and copying documents at a previouslys unprecedented speed.

With its robust design and reinforced chassis, the T-series is a great option for creating prints on-site. It features a built-in scanner so that users can share architectural drawings immediately and use the included HP Smart app to email documents to contacts or post them to the cloud.

Choose Between the HP DesignJet Z Series and T Series

For the most part, construction and architecture firms will get more value out of the T-series lineup of wide-format printers because of the reduced cost per page that these devices offer. For the highest possible quality when digital printing with a color plotter, nothing beats the DesignJet Z-series, but this may not necessarily produce value in a construction or architecture context.

But there are exceptions to every rule. An experienced print professional can help you identify exactly which model is the best hardware for your imaging needs.

Looking for more information on wide-format printing? Talk to us to find out which wide-format printer option is best for you.

wide-format printing, construction, architecture, engineering, CAD Printing, HP DesignJet

Author: Kelley Imaging

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