Before you buy a wide-format printer, or a large-format printer for that matter, there are a few factors that you need to consider before you make your purchase. As you know, these special printers are not inexpensive and they require an entirely different kind of printer inks, printer mediums and accessories. It is a must that you find the wide-format printer or large-format printer that works for you and your business and is sustainable for you to maintain so that you can get the most out of it in the long run.
So, what do you need to know before buying a wide-format printer or a large-format printer? There are a good number of factors that can come into play when you consider your purchase, but here are at least four things that you need to think about. These four things are your company’s needs and working conditions, the kind of ink and media products required to operate the printer, the extra software you may have to have, and the product support available.
Your Company Needs and Working Conditions
Before you make an investment on an expensive and specialized printer like a wide-format printer, you need to know if your company really needs it and if you can manage its operation on a long-term basis. A lot of these printers require a special environment for it to work.
So, if you are going to buy a wide-format printer, you would need to consider if you can provide a space in your premises where you can control environmental factors such as heat, humidity and dust. You would also have to train some of your employees to operate the printer.
Also, you would need to determine who the printouts you will be producing will be for. Will your clients be students and ordinary consumers? Or will they be companies that require a higher degree of quality from the printouts, such as museums, engineering firms and the like?
Special Inks and Media for the Printer
Many large-format printers and wide-format printers use inks and toners with different formulations. Also, while some printers are versatile, there are others that work only with paper, some with cloth, some with vinyl and other such printing media. It is a must for you to know which materials the printer you are thinking of buying work with to see if you can afford them in the long run.
A great way to do research on what inks and printer media you should buy is to attend trade shows. A word of warning, though: Do not always believe what you see in trade shows. Many of the people managing booths in trade shows use tricks and gimmicks to make the products they are marketing look better than they really are.
Additional Software and Accessories
When you buy a wide-format printer or a large-format printer, you may need to buy extra accessories as well as software to make the most out of your printer. Basic printer accessories that you must have would be a laminator and a cutter. A laminator makes your printouts look more gorgeous as well as protects them from scratching and fading. Cutters help you trim the edges of your printouts more neatly.
You will also need a raster image processor or RIP, color management software and probably a spectrophotometer. RIPs make sure that your files will be rendered accurately by the printer. Color management software and spectrophotometers ensure the accuracy of the colors and shading on the printouts.
Available Product Support
It is very, very important that when you buy a wide-format or large-format printer that the dealer or the manufacturer from which you will be buying it offers product support. You will need this product support, one way or another, in the course of your using the printer.
This is the reason why you should be wary of buying your wide-format printers or large-format printers from a cheap source. Many dealers that offer cheap specialized printers do not offer product support. They just deliver the product to you and you will not hear from them again.
Also, before you buy a wide-format printer or a large-format printer, make sure that the dealer or manufacturer you are getting it from has a decent return policy. This is your protection in case the printers are not working as they should.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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