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How to choose the best large format printer for architects, engineers and construction (AEC)

28 Sep,2023

Have you ever looked at architectural blueprints or construction plans and wondered how these materials were actually printed? 

Architects, engineers and construction industry workers all require a specialised printer that can offer them high print quality and the precision necessary to depict intricate building plans. A conventional printer can't handle such jobs and contracting such work out to a printing service can also run up high costs for custom printing jobs. Investing in an in-house solution offers AEC industry workers a more cost-effective way to get the high-quality printed plans they need, plus a range of other benefits. 

Like any business decision, there's a lot to take into account when looking for a wide format printer for architects, engineers and construction industry workers. Let's take a closer look at this printer type, its advantages and what you should keep in mind when trying to find the best large format printer for the AEC industry.

What is a wide format printer? 

When you think of a conventional printer, you're likely thinking of an A4 printer. A4 refers to the standard paper size used for most documents. Of course, blueprints and architectural plans require a much larger media size, as well as specialised printing tools that can handle complex drawings and imaging. 

While a wide format printer can make prints in various sizes, typical job sizes are A1 and A0, which are roughly equivalent to the size of one or two pages of broadsheet newspaper. 

A wide format printer is essential for architects, engineers and people working in the construction industry because it can create precise lines, high quality images and durable prints that can survive being furled and unfurled, transported between construction sites and marked up with notes. 

Modern wide format printers can also handle a variety of materials (cut sheet media and rolls, among others), which adds to their utility. 

Technical wide format printers use Inkjet technology that prints the image using drops of ink. Some inkjet printers use dye-based ink and others use pigment-based ink. Epson technical printers utilise pigment-based inks, which may be preferred for their most robust and vibrant colours. They also use very small droplets of ink for precise lines.