Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Canon Continues to Court CAD Market

24 Apr, 2013 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Latest wide-format printers and multifunction devices are optimized for AutoCAD and more affordable than ever before.

Stand. The MFP stand ties together all other components in one small footprint. Users can bolt the scanner stand to the printer stand to minimize overall footprint, or keep the components separate so the printer can be moved elsewhere if needed.

Canon MFP hardware components incorporate numerous advanced features.

Software. Launched in 2010, the software that powers Canon wide-format devices has been updated continuously based on customer and reseller feedback, Coombs said. It now includes a revamped home page displaying three main features: Copy; Scan (to file, e-mail, or USB drive); and Print (even allowing users to print a PDF, for example, without opening the file). The new user interface is designed to be navigable by beginning and experienced users alike and includes default and customizable presets; scan-to-cloud functionality; batch-scanning capability; and a variety of image-editing features.

The software can suggest output settings for beginning users based on the document selected for printing, Coombs said, or advanced users can set their own preferences and presets to use repeatedly. Users can set up parameters for a batch job and use them over and over as they scan dozens of documents, for example.

Direct Print and Share

MFPs now include integrated software that supports batch printing, cloud-based file sharing and printing from any desktop or mobile device, and AutoCAD integration. “One of the things that sets us apart is our very robust software,” Coombs said.

Canon MFPs are equipped with Direct Print & Share software to support a variety of tasks that facilitate CAD printing.

Optimized for CAD

Long-time customers are accustomed to the HDI driver traditionally found in Canon wide-format printers, but when it comes to processing AutoCAD files, today’s users have a second option: an AutoCAD-optimized driver allows users to very simply print from inside AutoCAD. Users can easily control print type (priority of image), print quality, color mode (including a new CAD option), and brightness, and the driver enables HP-GL/2 or HP-RTL nesting and autorotation of HP-GL/2 files. The driver works efficiently behind the scenes to produce high-quality output. “Sometimes vector files result in missing portions of the output. We’ve optimized this driver to overcome that,” Reamer said.

“There’s so much application of large-format [technology] today,” Reamer said in reference to the CAD market. “If you are using your devices for only printing your technical documents, you’re limiting use. You can use it to make a poster and not need to be a creative genius or graphic designer. It’s easy.”

Coombs added, “Smaller firms — and even larger firms — like to be able to do more with less. [We offer] ease of use, versatility, and flexibility. You’re getting everything you need for most environments right out of the box. You get more use and operation out of your printer.”

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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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