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Thread: wide format printer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chilliwack, B.C.
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    11,805

    Default wide format printer

    Been making some braces and brackets from flat bar lately, got it all painted up now. That's the only metalworking content in this post. What I'm wondering about is what is a decent wide format printer for home use- been looking at some from 300$ up to about 1200$. It looks like the first jump in capacity is to 11 inches wide, which would put me at 11 x 17, which is large enough for what I want to do. Anybody have experience with this class of machine? What might be a good one for decent money?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    1,269

    Default

    Canon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    On the Oil Coast,USA
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    19,636

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    I've been eye balling a HP DesignJet T120,I know a couple guys locally that have them and they are well satisfied.24" wide prints from a roll and the ink cartridges are reasonable.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    SE Texas
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    12,500

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    I got real tired buying expensive ink cartridges for HP printers that did not last very long. I also got tired of replacing all three colored inks in one cartridge. My last HP cost me less than $40 after the discounts, but I then discovered, they were not selling printers. The printers they were practically giving away. They were selling INK!

    I searched and found that the Brother line seemed to be the best value. I got an 11X17 printer/fax/copy/scan machine for under $300. It has individual ink cartridges for each color: black, magenta, cyan, and yellow so I can replace them as they run out. And they can be purchased in individual packages or a three cartridge pack with the three colors. The black cartridge is extra large so it lasts a long time. It did come with four ink cartridges that had partial fills, but all of the printers do that. All of the replacement cartridges that I have bought have been fully loaded with ink.

    It also allows me to make full 11x17 copies, B&W or color. The paper path is 11" wide. It has two paper trays that hold 100 sheets or more up to the full 11"x17" size. It also has a rear feed slot for an almost straight through paper path for heavier papers or per-cut label sheets which can peel off inside printers where the paper path has a "U" turn. It can print two sided: it reverses the paper inside the machine. I use that a lot to save paper and reduce the needed file space for documents.

    It has given me very little trouble and I love it. I think I have saved the purchase price in my reduced ink costs over the first 1.5 years. Brother seems to have a much better attitude toward ink sales. Their cartridges are not cheap, but they do last a long time.

    It is discontinued now, but here is a link to a description:

    https://www.brother-usa.com/products/mfcj6720dw

    This seems to be the current version but I am not sure if it has all the same features. The price seems very comparable to what I paid:

    https://www.brother-usa.com/products/mfcj6535dw

    If I were forced to criticize it, I would say it's biggest drawback is the Brother inks are not as vivid as HP's. Photos that are printed on paper intended for photo use will give you a nice looking print, but held next to the same picture made on an HP they are not as snappy. Photos on plain, copier style paper are noticeably lacking. I come from a photographic and TV background so I may be picky here, but I think the difference would be noticeable by almost anyone. I have kept my old HP for use in printing photos, but I have not used it much since getting the Brother.

    Another minor problem is the power button. It no longer seems to work. But the printer is stuck in the ON mode so when power is applied, it comes on. I just leave it on all the time. It has a sleep mode for saving power.

    When printing some schematics and drawings, there is nothing like a large format printer. It is also great when I need a template to paste over a part I am making. I do that mostly for sheet metal stuff, like custom enclosures for a electronic project.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    73

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    I've also got a Brother that will do 11 x 17 (single sheet at a time only). FWIW, I will never buy another inkjet printer. The brother is now a black only due to color print nozzles being hopelessly clogged. We don't use the color feature often enough, and sometimes the printer will sit for months without color being used. In this case the weekly or so automatic cleaning is not sufficient to keep the printhead nozzles open. My Brother laser, on the other hand, (hl5370dw) has been going strong for 7 years, but is black only. 8.5 x 11 (8.5 x 14 capable).

  6. #6

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    Cannon X 2
    Got mine (model 500) for 50 bucks NEW. You still can find them for that. Plus I got 3 boxes of 11 X 17 paper free!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Loveland,CO
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    242

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    Geez, all these " git er done" people here, and I'm the only one refilling ink cartridges?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    3,939

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corbettprime View Post
    Geez, all these " git er done" people here, and I'm the only one refilling ink cartridges?
    I have refilled toner cartridges. I will not touch ink, I use color laser, but not large format.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Atascosa County, Texas
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    8,175

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    I've got an old wide-body Epson. It's got to be 30+ years old but still worked the last time I used it. (Ran when parked.) I'm sure the ink ribbon is dry by now. It's an impact printer that will make multiple copies. It uses tractor or friction feed. I used it for printing forms and "green-bar" wide reports for accounting. I had to get a parallel to USB adaptor to use it with this computer. I could never figure out how to use all the printer capabilities through the serial USB but it did print my reports ok.

    After converting all my stuff to inkjet and then laser and now retirement, it's gone sitting idle for the last five years or so. I've got a color laser now that doesn't crap ink cleaning itself every few days. And my old injet did that whether you used it or not.

    To bad your weren't closer. You could have it if you could carry it and all the tractor feed paper I have left over.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,962

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    Wide printers a dime a dozen at office closure sales/auctions. They go for almost nothing. You can often get a bunch of spare carts for them. That should be a major goal, since new carts can be expensive (esp for color). Laser is of course a better choice but I suppose inkjet can be more compact and could make sense if you are able to get cheap carts. Inkjet is lousy if you don't use it often - it clogs and wastes ink trying to stay unclogged, etc.

    I also see larger roll paper printers and plotters at auction for dirt cheap. Those take up floor space but you could get inventive and make a wall mount on a swinging shelf or maybe even on drawer pulls.

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