When is the right time to update my large format printer?

deciding on the correct time to upgrade large format printerDeciding when the time is right to update your large format printer isn’t always easy. With so much choice out there, it can seem like an incredibly daunting task to actually decide upon a model, and given the cost implications, a decision that does not best suit your needs can haunt you for a number of years to come.

If you find your large format printer coming up short, it may be time to assess your options.  Tell-tale signs that an upgrade is definitely on the cards maybe that you can no longer easily find the proper replacement parts and supplies for your large format printer, or your driver and a new operating system are not compatible. Maybe your business model has changed since you first bought your large format printer and now you wish it could print faster, print higher quality or that it had the ability to produce prints on a wider range of media.

Another point to consider is the age of your existing large format printer. Large format printers are built to withstand heavy* usage and how your printer has been maintained and the type of usage it has had during its life will determine its longevity, but generally any printer beyond eight years old may be coming to the end of its useful life. Older printers do show their age in their print speed and if your slow old dinosaur is holding up productivity in the workplace, it is definitely time for an upgrade.

What do I require from a (my new) large format printer?

considerations for large format printer purchaseThere is a lot to consider when deciding upon your next large format printer purchase. One of the most important questions is where will the printer be located. Large format printers, by their very nature are large and will also require functional space too, in order to operate them adequately. You will also need to think about the ease of getting your big and heavy large format printer to its new permanent location – obviously this can be a tricky process if you are located on the second floor for instance, and you will certainly need to take into account the dimensions and weight of your intended printer in these cases. Here at GDS however, we can take care of all this for you, with our trained delivery teams and engineers.

You need to consider how often and how much you will be printing. A base model may be fine if you don’t require a quick turnaround, but you also need to determine where your business is going. If in a few years time you think you will be producing more output, or if in fact you already require high volume printing at faster speeds, then a more advanced model maybe the most sensible purchase.

Keep in mind what you will be printing. Are you printing large billboards or posters? Each printer has its limitations in terms of how large it can print and also what media it is able to print on. Think of the applications that you require your large format printer to produce and this can help narrow down the choice of options available to you. 

Ink choice will be critical too – do you require the sharp line quality and dense blacks offered by dye inks for CAD and technical drawings, or do you have a need for some water resistance and the incredible longevity that is provided by UV fade resistant pigment inks?

Hopefully this guide should give you a good indication if it's time for a new large format printer and give you some considerations when looking into purchasing your next large format printer. Don’t let print issues make your business less efficient.

Contact us at GDS for friendly and impartial help in choosing the correct large format printer upgrade to better your business. We are also able to offer installation for your new large format printer as well as on-site training to help you (and your staff if more than one person is to operate the printer) to get the most from your new large format printer.

 

*Heavy – various levels of usage according to model.