Large Format Printing for Home use

Started Mar 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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MvW101
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Large Format Printing for Home use
Mar 9, 2012

I wanted to offer my experiences with using a number of large format printers for home use for anyone contemplating taking the leap. I've owned a number of these including Canon, HP, and Epson for long periods of time. I have the money to spend on these to play, but I know many people do not and I hope I can maybe help someone make a better decision. I know this has been covered by ohters before, but I thing it is worth repeating.

First - owning a Large format printer at home is extremely expensive. The printer companies (especially Epson) must discount their units just like Gillette does with razor blades. Give away the handles, make a fortune on the blades. This is obvious for desktop printers, but even at $5K for a 24" LF printer, that is a DROP in the bucket of the total cost of owning a LF. I don't even mean just ink, which is obvious.

If you do not run very high volumes on a daily basis, all these photo oriented printers will have print head and clogging issues. These can cost over $1000 to repair. In many cases, print head issues can combine with a variety of other issues such as sensor, motherboard, hard disk problems requiring a $800 service visit. Combine that with new ink to purge the system and you can easily have a $2000 cost to get printing again. I had a Canon ipf5100 where this happened. A new unit is less than that!

Second- Being able to produce a large 24" print at home and have complete control is really rewarding. There is nothing like being able to tweak your prints and get exactly what you want.

The irony is that if you are the type of nit-picky control freak person who like to have their this level of production control, the aggravation associated with long-term LF use may drive you nuts to the point where you really don't enjoy it anymore. At some point, I just found it too aggravating to keep these devices happy. I have a room full of several that don't work and going to headed to the computer landfill (another expense!!)

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