Printers Reviews

Best Large Format Printers in 2020

Written by John

There are so many different types of large format printers on the market right now. Some specialize in printing high quality images; others focus only on printing monochrome with high printing speeds. Some large format printers can print on paper up to 33-inches by 46.8-inches; others can print on heavy duty cycle paper, which is great for businesses. Each type of large format printer has a specific job; we will discuss these later.

More often than not, large format printers will be very pricey. In this article, we will evaluate how to choose the best printer for your needs. Whether you are an engineer, an architect, or a photographer, you need to understand the differences between the different types of printers so you can make the best choice for what you will be using it for.

Large Format Printer Sizes

For photographers and architects need to print high-quality color pictures, often with special criteria, that will look just as beautiful (if not more) as the picture on the computer screen. They also need a large photo printer that has the ability to print on photo paper, durable ink, and cost-effective printing. The most commonly used printing sizes used by photographers and architects are 16.5-inches by 23.4-inches or 23.4-inches by 33.1-inches if a larger picture is needed.

For engineers, technical drawings or building images in a software like CAD or Revit is a major part of the job. It is incredibly difficult to get these software programs to print properly on a regular printer with a regular computer screen. Using a wide format printer gives engineers the ability to print large-scale drawings properly on one sheet of paper.

A wide format printer can print on paper that is 23.4-inches by 33.1-inches, which is the common size of technical drawings that are done by engineers. These types of drawings will usually be printed in monochrome, and multiples are printed at one time. You need to make sure that the printer you select for an engineering team has a quick printing speed, is able to be used continuously, and has components that are easily replaceable while in use.

There are two options of wide format printers for engineers. There is one for civil engineering which will print CAD or Revit drawings with ease. The other is for electrical and mechanical engineering that will print designs for things such as robotics or types of controllers.

Laser Printer vs Inkjet Printer

A large format laser printer produces higher quality monochrome and color prints than inkjet printers. The lasers allow the printer to work at a high speed for quick and accurate prints. Maintenance and repair are also much easier on a laser printer than an inkjet printer.

Laser printers require larger structural components than normal size printers, most importantly the drum. The drum unit is the part that transfers the toner from the printer to the paper with the help of the developer ink. In a large format laser printer, the drum has a duty cycle of 50,000 to 500,000 pages. This is incredible compared to the duty cycle of a normal sized printer, which is around 20,000 pages.

Inkjet printers are more popular because they are less expensive than laser printers. Both small and large format inkjet printers use the same type of print head, giving them the ability to deposit ink on to different types of papers with ease. These modern print heads contain chambers that are fed ink and the chambers disperse the ink into tiny nozzles that releases the ink onto the paper in a controlled manner.

Before print heads were invented, printing happened on a printing press that would need to come in direct contact with the paper. This was an extremely messy and pricey process because the presses were very large. Modern print heads don’t have to touch the paper at all to print, making the process cleaner and more affordable.

Print Speed

Speed is a major factor to consider when you are looking for a large format printer. If you want a printer that is quick and efficient, you will need to prepare for the massive costs that come along with one. If you are working with a small team, a printer that outputs 2 to 3 pages a minute will be sustainable for everyday use at a cost that will fit your budget. If you are working with a larger team, you will need to spend a little more and get a larger printer with the capability of printing 5 to 8 pages a minute and can support 2 to 3 rolls of paper at a time.

Color Range

It is important to consider the color range that the printer offers so you can choose the one that will best fit your needs. Some printers offer around 6 colors, while others offer up to 12 colors. If you are an architect or engineer, you will be satisfied with a printer that has a lower color capability, but if you are a photographer you will need a printer that offers more colors. The higher the color count, the shaper your image will be.

Printhead, Drum and Duty Cycle

If you use your printer continuously on a consistent basis, you probably replace your ink a lot. In addition to replacing the ink, you should also look at your owner’s manual to determine how often you need to replace the printhead or the drum for maximum usability. Inkjet printers use a printhead, while laser printers use a drum. The cost of both pieces are around the same price of $500, so make sure you consider this cost when you are looking for a large format printer.

The lifetime of a printhead or drum varies between brands, so you will need to pay attention to your manual and keep an eye on your levels, so you know exactly when to replace these pieces. The drum of a laser printer will last longer than the printhead of an inkjet printer.

Best Large Format Printers in 2020

Cheap Large Format Printers 2020

HP
DesignJet
T230

Epson
SureColor
T2170

Canon
imagePROG
RAF TA-20

HP
DesignJet
T650

HP
DesignJet
T830

Inkjet or Laser

Inkjet

Inkjet

Inkjet

Inkjet

Inkjet

Paper Size

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Up to 33.1
x 46.8 (A0)

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Copying
in ADF

No

No

No

No

Yes

Scan

No

No

No

No

Yes

Mono or Color

Color

Color

Color

Color

Color

Color Range

4 Color

4 Color

5 Color

4 Color

4 Color

Print Speed

35 sec/page

42 sec/page

34 sec/page

25 sec/page

25 sec/page

Paper
Source

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

Wireless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

For

Engineer,
Architect

Engineer,
Architect

Architect,
photographers

Engineer,
Architect

Engineer,
Architect

Supply Costs

HP 712 Bk
(60$/80ml)

Epson T40V,
(43.9$/50ml)

PFI-030MBK
(47$/50ml)

-

-

Price

$899

$749

$1,095

$2,199

$2,695

Read More

Large Format Printers 2020

HP DesignJet Z9
24”

Epson SureColor
P7570 24"

HP DesignJet Z6
44”

Ricoh MP
W6700SP

Inkjet or Laser

Inkjet

Inkjet

Inkjet

Laser

Paper Size

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Up to 23.4
x 33.1 in
(A1)

Up to 33.1
x 46.8 (A0)

Up to 33.1
x 46.8 (A0)

Copying
in ADF

No

No

No

Yes

Scan

No

No

No

Yes

Mono or Color

Color

Color

Color

Mono

Color Range

9 Color

12 Color

6 Color

No

Print Speed

4.4 min/page

2:02 min/page

2.6 min/page

6.7 ppm

Paper
Source

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

1 roll Paper

2 roll Paper

Wireless

No (Ether, USB)

No (Ether, USB)

No (Ether, USB)

Yes

For

Photographers

Photographers

Photographers

Engineer,
Company

Supply Costs

HP 746 Black Ink
(146$/300ml)

Epson T44H
(247$/700ml)

HP 746 Black Ink
(146$/300ml)

138$/2200 pages

Price

$2,695

$4,695

$4,295

~10000$

Read More

1. HP DesignJet T230

HP DesignJet T230

The HP DesignJet T230 is an best larger format inkjet printer that is geared towards engineers and architects. This printer is designed to fit nicely in your office and is incredibly simple to use. You are able to send multiple files to the printer with one click. This printer features wireless printing and can hold one roll of paper at a time.

The price is very affordable at $899. The printer is capable of printing A1, A2, A3, and A4 sizes. It offers printing on several different media types and can print one page in 35 seconds. The largest con of this printer is the 4-cartridge printing capability; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. This printer is great for architects and engineers who need a large format printer on a budget. If you don’t need a wide color range, this is a great option for you or your company.

2. Epson SureColor T2170

Epson SureColor T2170

The Epson SureColor T2170 is a cheap large format printer that is most useful for engineers and architects. The printer offers wireless, USB and ethernet printing and can hold one roll of paper at a time.

This printer is very well priced at $749. You can print on pages sized 23.4 x 33.1 inches (A1). The printing speed is 42 seconds a page, so it is a little slower than other printers on the market. This printer only offers four color cartridges, making color printing limited. This printer is very affordable and has great features, as long as you don’t mind the slower speed and low color ability.

3. Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20

Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20

The Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 is a large poster printer. It is a great fit for architects and photographers. This printer uses 40% less ink during printing to keep operating costs low. The Sun-Ink Tank System allows you to change empty ink cartridges while the printer is working for maximum speed.

This printer has the ability to print 104 24-inch by 36-inch large poster printer per hour, printing one and a half posters every minute. The TA printer can also utilize long rolls of paper and can print a variety of media. This printer is only a 5-color printer; matte black, black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.

This printer is compact but mighty. The cost is high, but the quality definitely matches the price. It is a great option to consider when looking for a large format printer.

4. HP DesignJet T650

HP DesignJet T650

This inkjet A0 printer printer includes a built-in stand to make it fit well in any size office. You can print multi-size projects automatically, making it perfect for professionals who need to print projects from Autocad, Revit, and Photoshop.

This printer is extremely simple to use because it allows you to print multi-size projects automatically without needing to manually switch the media source. You can send multiple files at one time with one click. You can print on pages sized up to 33.1 x 46.8 inches (A0). Color printing is limited to 4-cartridges, so it is not good for you if you need to print in color frequently. This printer is a great option because it is easy to use and can fit in just about any office. If you don’t need color printing often, this is a great choice.

5. HP DesignJet T830

HP DesignJet T830

This inkjet is the most compact large format printer. It uses technology that helps you communicate efficiently with your team members, allowing you to move quickly to finish your project. This printer allows you to print, scan, and copy to quickly update every member on your team. It can print one page in 26 seconds, and it can scan up to 1.5 seconds in color and up to 4.5 seconds in grayscale.

This printer only uses 4 color cartridges, so it is not compatible with those who need to print in color a lot.This is a super high-quality printer that is worth the high price if you don’t need consistent color printing.

6. HP DesignJet Z9 24”

HP DesignJet Z9 24

The HP DesignJet Z9 is great for photographers who need a lot of high-quality color pictures printed. This printer is very slow but results in great quality pictures. There are nine color cartridges in this printer; cyan, yellow, magenta, matte black, photo black, chromatic red, chromatic green, chromatic blue, and gray. There is also an option to add a gloss enhancer for shinier pictures. This printer is pretty slow, taking 4.4 minutes to finish one page.

This is the cheapest option for a high-quality photo printer large format. The initial cost is expensive, but definitely worth the price.

7. Epson SureColor P7570 24”

Epson SureColor P7570 24

Another best wide format inkjet printers that prints high-quality color. Great for photographers who are looking to invest in a great printer that will last them for a while. There are 12 color cartridges; photo black, cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta, gray, matte black, light gray, orange, green, and violet. This printer is heavy, so it isn’t easy to move. It is also very expensive. This printer offers the best color performance out of all the other printers discussed. It is expensive, but you will be very pleased with the results.

8. HP DesignJet Z6 44”

HP DesignJet Z6 44

Another big photo printer for photographers, the HP DesignJet prints incredibly clear images, offering a higher-quality print with fewer inks. You can print on pages sized up to 33.1 x 46.8 inches (A0). Great accurate and consistent prints for indoor photography. Outdoor pictures aren’t printed very well due to the fewer ink cartridges used. This printer is fantastic if you are primarily printing indoor photography as it can print clear indoor images flawlessly.

9. Ricoh MP W6700SP

Ricoh MP W6700SP

This printer is a larger format laser printer that can print only in monochrome. This is best for engineering companies because it provides crisp images without color. This printer has an incredible speed of 6.7 pages per minute, helping complete your projects on time. You can only print in black and white, so it is not ideal if you need color images frequently. This printer is a great option for companies who need to print maps and plans that don’t involve any color.

No matter what your budget is, there is a large-format printer that can fit your needs. Most affordable printers are inkjet, offering a few color options for everyday use.

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