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You Bought a CAD Printer — What’s Next?

Wide-Format Printers CAD January 30, 2024

Viewpoint: Find out how to invest in the tools that will complement your printer and maximize productivity.

After putting in the work researching and determining the right printing solution for your business, you may find yourself asking what the next step is and if you have everything you need to get started. From a wide range of media and extra ink to extended service plans and storage, there are a variety of factors to consider before installing the printer that will help to keep workflow streamlined and efficient.

Once you've purchased your new wide-format printer, prepare to get the most out of it. Image source: Epson.


Wide Range of Media

After selecting your CAD printer and prioritizing the features that matter for your workgroup, it’s important to have versatile media that meet different project needs. Choosing the right type of paper for each print job will help determine the overall result of the final product. For example, bond, presentation matte, and Mylar and Vellum tracing paper are designed for CAD and technical drawings. Rigid poster board or matte, satin, and glossy canvas are ideal for client presentations and full color graphics. Different types of media are designed for specific use cases:

  • Presentation matte paper features a smooth matte finish with bright colors and dark text, great for reports or presentations with graphics.
  • 20-pound bond paper is suitable for everyday cost-effective printing of plans, line drawings, and drafts of projects.
  • Production poster paper offers superior lightfastness, water resistance, sharp details, and brilliant colors that dry instantly, ideal for posters, signs, and displays.
  • Vellum paper is incredibly versatile, and its transparent quality and smooth texture make it ideal for technical drawings, plans, blueprints, and tracing.
  • Canvas paper can include matte, gloss, or satin surfaces with a bright white point, high Dmax, wide color gamut, and high strength and flexibility.

Each printer has different media handling capabilities, which will impact the width, length, and thickness of media you can use, so make sure the media meets your printers’ specifications. Having the right paper means you can print drawings and renderings right at your desk, technical prints directly at a job site or in a mobile trailer, or posters and large spreadsheets in-house.


Extra Ink

While your printer will include a set of initial ink, equipping yourself with enough ink will ensure you don’t run out and delay your projects. Using genuine ink from the manufacturer provides optimal print quality and performance and will be compatible with your CAD printer.

Ink designed for engineering and scientific applications are ideal, used for everything from everyday technical drawings to color accurate indoor signs, graphics and renderings. These can also be water, smudge, and fade resistant to produce durable, long-lasting prints for your business. There are options for high-capacity ink cartridges, reducing the need for frequent changes. In addition, some printers include easy-to-fill, refillable ink tanks to eliminate time spent purchasing and changing ink cartridges.


Extended Service Plans

It’s important to invest in robust equipment that’s supported by the manufacturer with warranty and service plans. For example, there are standard limited warranties that include on-site, usually next business day service, and priority technical phone support during business hours. Some manufacturers also offer extended service plans providing premium service and support plans for multiple years. Make sure to confirm the coverage length and availability, as it depends on the manufacturer and model you purchase.

It’s also crucial to consider a thorough maintenance plan and prioritize routine maintenance procedures so that the printer stays clean and continues to function properly. Cleaning the printer regularly to remove dust, dirt or particles is highly recommended.


Expandable Options

In the case your business might need more space as it grows, there are ways to expand functionality by adding extra storage, such as an HDD on select printers, which enables print jobs to immediately transfer from a computer to a printer without clogging up a network. With an internal print server on a hard drive, you can reprint directly from the printer control panel without using a computer. There are also software options that enable batch printing, secure PDF printing, job reprinting, and options for hard drives which free up network and workstation bandwidth.

For some production printers, there are optional production sheet stackers available to purchase. Look for adjustable options for multiple print lengths, allowing for uninterrupted, unattended printing for multiple rolls. In addition, some casters are built in, so they can be folded up to reduce space and detached and stored when not in use.


Key Takeaways

Whether you’re printing for a smaller office or larger business, it’s important to consider printing essentials for various applications — technical drawings, architectural blueprints, GIS maps, display signage, posters, and more. Investing in the correct tools that complement your printer is a surefire way to maximize productivity and stay one step ahead.


Viewpoint articles are tech-focused editorial written by experts from the CAD industry. This article was written by Jacob Hardin from Epson.


Read more about CAD peripherals on our CAD Workstation and Peripherals Resource Page 

Jacob Hardin

Jacob Hardin is a product manager for Professional Imaging Division at Epson America, Inc.

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