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Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Four Print Tools for Building a Productive CAD Office

10 Jul, 2023 By: Jacob Hardin

VIEWPOINT: How businesses can improve efficiency and deliver high-quality results.


Four Print Tools for Building a Productive CAD Office

Image source: Epson.

 

Whether working from the office, jobsite, or from home, it’s important to invest in technology that keeps up with demanding workflows. In addition to having the right gear for your workstation, including ergonomic desks, chairs, and monitors, there are a range of essential printing tools to consider that allow teams to easily deliver high-quality results for efficient project planning and execution.

 

1. Robust Wide-Format Printers

While much of today’s workflow is digitally driven, businesses depend on a key blend of both print and digital processes to run smoothly. Many projects are not designed for full digital collaboration, and wide-format printing allows team members to communicate large amounts of visual and technical information in versatile ways beyond the screens of a tablet, mobile device or computer.

Investing in wide-format printers that leverage innovative inkjet technologies can offer fast, functional, and cost-efficient printing. Advanced printers today come in compact sizes, deliver vivid color graphics and outstanding line accuracy on a wide variety of media, and offer versatile connectivity so professionals can print from virtually anywhere. Businesses can also leverage multifunction models with a built-in scanner to print, scan, and share the latest plans, notes, revisions, approvals, and other visuals across multiple teams and stakeholders.

 

2. Advanced Software

Many businesses utilize CAD tools every day, integrating them into development cycles to save time, increase productivity, and improve the accuracy and quality of designs. In addition to researching CAD programs ideal for your business, consider printing solutions that come equipped with powerful software designed to help maximize productivity.

For example, advanced printers today include multiple driver and print workflow options which can be as easy as drag and drop for repeat prints, or tailored to exact output specifications needed for your outputs. There are also solutions available for tracking estimated print job costs for customers or accounting departments and for production environments – leading printers are equipped with software that allows team members to remotely manage and monitor printer fleets from the convenience of laptops and smart devices. Businesses can easily run reports to view total production efficiency, uptime, and usage, communicate key performance metrics to employees, and leverage the insight provided to make critical decisions.

 

3. Reliable Accessories

It’s always a good idea to have plenty of extra consumables on hand, such as ink, rolls of media, maintenance tanks, an extra cutter blade, and a spindle. There are also accessories which can make workflow easier, such as having expandable storage in your printer for repeat print jobs or a production print stacker to stack up multiple pages unattended.

Instead of the large and bulky office plotters some people may be used to, printers today have become much more compact, featuring purpose-built designs that work seamlessly with high-quality consumables and accessories to deliver efficient results. Properly maintaining this equipment on a regular basis will help keep things running efficiently for long-term success.

 

4. Versatile Media

Choosing the right type of paper for each print job is an essential element for all projects, helping to determine the overall experience of the final product. Glossy, technical, bond, matte, rigid poster board — there are many different types of media that are designed for specific use cases. For example, vellum paper features a smooth texture and transparent quality ideal for technical drawings, plans, blueprints, and tracing. Mylar paper is a durable film great for product drawings, product and blueprint overlays, and templates. Production poster paper has a finish that is perfect for posters, signs, and display.

Additional factors to consider include coated or uncoated media, print permanence, and longevity. Coated paper is produced with an extra layer, making the paper less porous and absorbing less ink. Common types of coated paper include glossy, semi-glossy, matte, and satin finishes that are designed to be fast drying, smudge and water-resistant, ideal for high-contrast projects that require crisp details and vibrant colors. Uncoated paper does not have a coating to fill in between the fibers, making it more porous and absorbent and giving it a more natural surface and texture. While it may not be as long lasting as coated paper, it’s easier to write on and ideal for everyday documents and worksheets.

Print permanence refers to how well a printed document or image lasts over time without fading, and primary factors affecting longevity include exposure to light, water, pollution, temperature, and humidity. For projects that need to be archived and preserved, invest in high-quality media and inkjet technology designed to meet rigorous testing, and properly store prints in dark, dry and temperature-regulated areas.

 

Key Takeaways

While keeping office technology up to date might take some effort and planning, it doesn’t need to be a time-consuming and difficult process. From ergonomic equipment, such as adjustable desks, to computer peripherals, including reliable wide-format printers and accessories, arming your business with the right technology will help enhance productivity and allow everyone to work more efficiently.


About the Author: Jacob Hardin

Jacob Hardin

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