Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Canon USA BJ-W3000

1 Oct, 2000 By: Evan Yares

Inkjet, thermal, and LED plotters reviewed

Canon USA
Star rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Canon now offers its own plotters, including the BJ-W3000.

Finally. That’s how I feel about the Canon BJ-W3000 36" color bubblejet/inkjet plotter. For years, Canon sold plotters under the Selex name. Now you can finally buy a plotter that proudly bears Canon’s name.

The BJ-W3000 (and the smaller 24" wide BJ-W3050) is a fully loaded plotter that competes in the mainstream market. It includes all the good stuff, such as roll and cut sheet media feed, an automatic plot cutter, parallel and serial interfaces, and an optional stand with a catch basket.

The writing system on the BJ-W3000 uses four individual 360dpi inkjet heads, each with a replaceable snap-in ink tank. One strange thing is that the ink tanks are fairly small—27mL for black and 25mL for color. Still, the tanks are big enough for unattended operation, unless you’re planning some long overnight plot runs with very heavy ink coverage. Few people do these kind of plot runs. If you do, you should get a plotter with an extended ink supply. Canon sells fairly inexpensive ink tanks, so the BJ-W3000 is economical to run. Print heads, which should be replaced every 25 ink tanks, cost $82 each. Ink tanks are $16.50 for each color and $14.50 for black.

The quality and throughput of the BJ-W3000 are both middle-of-the-road. In draft mode, the W3000 produces a monochrome D-size print in 1.4 minutes. In normal mode, it takes 4.3 minutes. The quality of these plots is what you would expect—draft plots are good enough, and normal plots are excellent. The BJ-W3000 has higher quality modes. Most CAD users will never need better than normal mode.

Had Canon come out with the BJ-W3000 a few years ago, it would have been a spectacular offering. In today’s market, the W3000 is not fantastic, but is certainly a nice machine at a competitive price. And it is a sign that Canon seriously wants to be in the plotter market. The BJ-W3000 is list-priced at $4,495, with the optional stand and basket selling for $380. A good value overall.

About the Author: Evan Yares

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