HP Adds More Wide-Format Printer Offerings to Designjet Lineup6 Jun, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Incorporating customer suggestions for improvements, the new 36-inch T920 and T1500 feature front-loading media rolls and a collating output tray.
During a webinar held yesterday, "Designed by Demand: Large-Format Printing Solutions for Design and Architecture, Engineering and Construction Professionals," HP unveiled two new web-connected printers. The HP Designjet T920 and T1500 ePrinters produce 36-inch-wide prints and measure 55.1" x 27.3" x 37.4". According to HP, the new models deliver the fastest speeds available on the market, producing an A1/D-size print in as little as 21 seconds.
The T920 and T1500 feature an integrated output stacking tray, which collates as many as 50 sheets of A4- to A0-size media. The prints are stored flat, in contrast to a traditional collection basket that allows prints to curl up as they drop in.
The top of each printer incorporates a flat surface for checking prints, and visual access to the print area enables users to monitor print progress. The media rolls are aligned automatically and are positioned at the front of the machine, allowing users to place the printers close to walls and load media from the front, even while seated.
A 4.3" full-color touchscreen enables users to manage job queues and view print previews. Like HP's existing Designjet ePrinters, the T920 and T1500 interface with the free ePrint & Share web service. Users can access and print documents using a mobile device or printer touchscreen, save copies to the cloud when printing, and e-mail projects to print.
The HP Designjet T920 (right) and T1500 (left) ePrinters feature output-collating stacking trays and 4.3" color touchscreens. Image courtesy of HP.
Both models are suitable for AEC, GIS, and MCAD applications; the difference is one of scale. The Designjet T920, which has 32 GB of virtual memory, is intended for teams in small design studios. The Designjet T1500, in contrast, is marketed toward medium-sized businesses and enterprises with high-volume printing needs. It uses a parallel processor with a 320-GB hard drive to print multiple files simultaneously. T1500 users can track print costs, a useful feature for assigning cost to particular departments or billing by the job, explained Ramon Pastor, vice-president and general manager, Large-Format Printing. The T1500 also incorporates two media rolls instead of one. "[Having two rolls] reduces the downtime, and enables more versatile use of the printer," said Pastor.
Refinements Based on Research
Pastor told webinar attendees that HP's printer development is guided by researching market trends and customer needs. He explained that trends affecting HP's customers include:
- Mobility. "Mobility is a trend that has been going on for some time ... [but] mobility is really accelerating, so our custmers spend more and more time outside their design studios, at the construction site, selling the design to their customers."
- Collaboration. "Our customers collaborate more and more between different geographies, between different companies."
- Complexity. Increasing complexity comes from the adoption of new tools — including 3D modeling tools and building information modeling — and new materials.
- Competition. With fewer jobs and tighter deadlines, "the economic crisis has had a big impact on our customers and their environment."
HP stressed that the new designs were also shaped by customer requests. Rather than merely conduct a focus group interview, HP had customers mock up their ideal printers using cardboard, paper, and wood. Alex Moñino, worldwide marketing director, Large-Format Printing, explained that customers wanted the following features in a large-format printer design:
- Robust stand.
- Small footprint. "They don't want the printer to take a lot of space in their office; in many cases, they don't have a lot of space."
- Two media rolls. "We've had two media rolls for a long time now in our printers, and this was reinforced [by the customer input]. Most of our customers designed their ideal printer with two rolls [for] the flexibility and versatility that provides to the workgroups and different people within their teams to use different types or sizes of media."
- Media rolls load from the front.
- Media rolls are protected from dust.
- Visible printing zone. "They want to know what's going on with the printer the moment it starts to print; they don't want to wait until the printout is out."
- Color touchscreen. "As users of smartphones, our standards have evolved. Everybody is expecting to have a color touchscreen ... that is easy to use."
- Organized output.
- Improved ergonomics.
Putting the Printer to Work
Representatives from one HP customer, Rojkind Arquitectos, shared their experiences with the T1500 during the webinar. Although the Mexico City–based firm incorporates only about 30 people, it's involved in projects as far away as India and China.
"We tend to collaborate in big teams; most of the time we're on the road, looking for new projects or doing academic projects as well," said Michel Rojkind, firm principal. "In terms of collaborating, we have to be very dynamic, we have to be very precise, we have to know how to save a lot of time and a lot of effort and really put that time and effort into the design process in order to have better results."
Gerardo Salinas, firm partner, praised the T1500's configuration and size. "Front loading seems to be one of the nicest things; we don't have to be constantly moving the plotters to load the paper ... you can also have two different types of paper if you're working on several projects at the same time, and it gives a lot of flexibility in terms of working around the printers in the office. ... The small footprint is much easier to fit in our space, we don't have a very large office, so it works out very well for us."
The HP Designjet T920 and T1500 ePrinters are designed to have a small footprint and to operate close to a wall, to save space in crowded offices and job sites. Image courtesy of HP.
The ePrint & Share capability enables Rojkind employees to send files to the office, or consultants, while working on a job site, Salinas explained. "It allows us to have a little more mobility, to be on the move constantly and be able to send the prints to the office."
HP is accepting orders for the new printers now, which will begin shipping July 8, 2013. Estimated list prices for the T920 and T1500 are $5,395 and $7,495, respectively.
About the Author: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!