View Full Version : large format printer advice

09-10-2006, 09:49 PM
I need to purchase a large format printer. The minimum size I need to print is 12x18, but of course the larger the better. My main question is does it need to be postscript? I'll mainly be printing from Indesign CS2 and Illustrator CS2. I will also most likely want to hook it up to my Airport Express. What printers do you recommend that are under $3000?

09-11-2006, 08:03 AM
If you are printing from in Design, you will get your best results from a post script driver. There are several software postscript drivers available. I don't use postscript because I print photos. Depending on the printer you get , in your price range there are quite a few options.
You may want to compare the latest pro HP printers, they are really awesome now and provide options that Epson does not.

09-11-2006, 01:39 PM
Does the postscript ability have to be on the printer itself or just software based driver on the computer I'm printing from? I used to use software based postscript waaay back when (OS 9 and below), but it needed to be compatible with the printer model you were printing to. Does anyone know of a website I can go to compare models? I tried going directly to manufacturer websites (like hp.com) but they don't seem to list information like if it is postscript or not. I also tried cnet, same problem.

09-11-2006, 02:29 PM
Two versions are possible:

1. A Printer with inegrated PostScript (PS) which is mostly slower and not upgradeable.

2. A dedicated PC/Mac running a PS RIP (Raster Image Processor) which translates the PS commands to the printers unique printing language or sends the file rasterized as TIF image to the Printer.

PS is the core architecture for everything in the PrePress bussiness, Image or plate setters, Proofs, Digital Offset devices and everything else. PDF is also based on PS and works hand in hand. So a PS Level3 RIP is able to print PDF files directly. Both technologies PS and PDF are made by Adobe.

My guess would be a good/ well made LFP and a fast PC or Mac as RIP-Station running a software RIP like Harlequin or BEST/EFI or PowerPrintX all those RIPs have colormanaging included to provide consitant quality of your prints and such a combination is also good as a proof printer setup.

The BIG plus is you can update the RIP with new features and you can speed it up in a few years using a faster PC/Mac.



09-11-2006, 05:53 PM
Check wilhelmimaging.com or wilhelm-research.com and greatoutput.com

09-21-2006, 01:02 AM
I would recommend the Epson 4800 Pro, which come with the Colorburst RIP. Not only does the rip let you print postscript files but it also let's you relinearize your printer so that you can be sure that the colors coming out the the printer are the way there where when the profiles where created. Colorburst has great tech support and offer alot of profiles. There are rebates going on right now for the Epson 4800 and there is also an offer to upgrade the version of Colorburst that comes with the Epson to a higher end version that let's you create your own profiles. One last thing, the Epson 4800 with the Colorburst RIP is a SWOP certified system.

09-21-2006, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the response, the Epson 4800 is definitely an option right now. I'm a little disapointed though that at that price it only prints 11 x 17, I would like at least 12 x 18 so I can print 11x17 with full bleeds and slug information. What do you think of the Epson Stylus Photo R1800? It is much cheaper and prints up to 13 x 44. I've seem them at Best Buy but have been leary of them because of the postscript/color matching issue. I would hope that for $1500 more Epson would make a printer that could print at least 12 x 18 which is still less than the $500 model.