Wide-format printer

Wide-format printer

Wide-format printers (also called "plotters") are generally accepted to be any printer with a print width between 17" and 100". Printers over the 100" mark may be called Super-Wide or Grand format. Wide format printers are used to print banners, posters and general signage and in some cases may be more economical than short-run methods such as screenprinting. Wide format printers generally use a roll of print material rather than individual sheets and may incorporate hot-air dryers to prevent prints from sticking to themselves as they are produced.


According to Ink used:

*Aqueous: thermal or Piezo inkjet printers using an ink known as aqueous or water-based. The term water base is a generally accepted misnomer. The pigment is held in a non-reactive carrier solution that is sometimes water and other times a substitute liquid, including a soy based liquid used by Kodak. Aqueous ink generally comes in two flavors, Dye and UV (alternatively known as pigment). Dye ink is high color, low UV-resistant variety that offers the widest color gamut. UV ink is generally duller in color but withstands fading from UV rays. Similar in general principle to desktop inkjet printers. Finished prints using dye inks must be laminated to protect them if they are to be used outdoors while prints using UV inks can be used outdoors un-laminated for a limited time. Various materials are available, including canvases, banners, metabolized plastic and cloth. Aqueous technology requires that all materials be properly coated to accept and hold the ink.

*Solvent: Piezo inkjet printers whose inks use petroleum or a petroleum by-product such as acetone as it's carrier liquid. The resulting prints are waterproof. May be used to print directly on to uncoated vinyl and other media as well as ridged substrates such as Foam Board and PVC.

*Dye sublimation: inks are diffused into the special print media to produce continuous-tone prints of photographic quality.

*UV: Piezo inkjet printers whose inks are UV-curable (Dry when cured with UV light). The resulting prints are waterproof, embossed & vibrant. Any media material can be used in this technology, polymer made media are best. Ceramics, glass, metals, and woods are also used with printing with this technology.

*Pen/plotter: a pen or pens are used to draw on the print substrate. Mainly used for producing CAD drawings. Generally being superseded by digital technologies such as Solvent, Aqueous, and UV.


The major manufacturers include (in alphabetical order): [http://www.canon.com Canon Inc.] , DGI, [http://durst.it Durst] , [http://efi.com/VUTEk/ EFI VUTEk] , [http://www.encad.com Encad] , [http://gandinnovations.com Gandinnovations] , [http://www.hp.com Hewlett-Packard] , Infinity, Infotech, Keundo, [http://www.kodak.com Kodak] , [http://kvrpixojet.com KVR-"pixojet"] , Leggett and Platt, [http://www.colorspan.com MacDermid ColorSpan Inc.] , Matan Digital Printers, Mimaki, [http://www.mutoh.eu Mutoh] , [http://nur.com NUR] , [http://www.oceusa.com Océ] ,Raster Printers, Roland, HP Scitex (formerly Scitex Vision, joined Hewlett-Packard on 1 November 2005), Seiko I Infotech Inc., Seiko Epson, VUTEk, Xerox, and more.

ee also

Canon Inc.DurstHewlett-PackardKodakKVR-pixojetMimakiMutohNUROcéRolandXerox • printer • screenprinting • thermal • piezo • inkjetvinyl

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