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June 25, 2007
HP Sports New Workgroup Printer Technology
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Susan Smith, Managing EditorIndustry News
HP Sports New Workgroup Printer Technology
by Susan Smith
According Sandy Gramley, technical segment manager for Hewlett-Packard (HP)’s large format printing division, HP is replacing “the heart and soul” of their workgroup printers for CAD, the DesignJet 800 and 1000 series with updated models, the new HP Designjet T Printer series for CAD and GIS professionals and work teams.
Changes in what customers’ output looks like, productivity, and assurance of what the product will look like, all drove changes in a printer design that has been around since 1999 or 2000.
The new HP Designjet T Printers series includes the HP Designjet T610 and T1100 Printer series and offers the following:
1) To address the change in customers’ output from what it was in 2000, HP has added a 6-ink writing system (including magenta, cyan, yellow), with a map black, a traditional black ink, which works well on plain paper, and you can use it to archive on polyester film and it is pigment based. They also have photo black which is designed for customers doing glossy substrates who want presentation quality materials. (A traditional black ink used in CAD does not work well in glossy type substrates). Back in 2000, Gramley noted, customers printed mostly black lines, and no one used PhotoShop, plus high end renderings were unusual.
HP also added a gray ink which has been used for a long time in their photo printers. This provides greater neutrality in white color areas, and you get better detail in black and white and through transitions and lighter colors. If you download black and white satellite downloads, you get not only black dots spaced farther apart or closer together depending on your tone, but you now have another gradient to work with. If you do renderings that involve metallics, stone buildings, or concrete, you get more neutral and natural tones because you’re not trying to make concrete from big black dots and then cyan magenta yellow dots. “It’s a true
grey undertone,” said Gramley. “The other thing with grayscale drawings, if you have lines that you want to gray out or portions of a drawing you want to gray out, instead of having them be splotchy black dot spaced very far apart to simulate gray, it’s actually gray ink, so you get a smooth, even gray that has a different quality to it than the black ink around it. You can use it to print out pictures – we see an increasing number of customers who had bought photo printers just to do their presentations or had sent out their presentations to a digital color house.”
Gramley said it is the most accurate line drawing machine HP has ever made, so it has great line accuracy, at 0.1%(3) and 0.0423 mm minimum line width, with greater image and presentation quality and a little bit broader media support for the kinds of presentation work customers want to do.
2)Performance and productivity. The new printers are considerably faster than ones they are replacing. Beyond print speed, these printers have full processors on board, so you can take your files from your computer over the network and do all the processing of that file on the printer and not on your PC. “This makes your PC more productive and makes your network more productive,” Gramley pointed out. “It also processes while you print, so if you send it ten files, once it processes the first page and starts printing it will always be processing the next file while it’s printing that one. These are very robust intelligent printers, so there is no
wait for workgroup printers.”
You can also monitor your printer remotely from your desktop, for example, if you have a project you want to move from the bottom of the queue to the top of the queue, you can manage it so it moves to the top of the queue without ever having to go to the printer itself. It also has some media alerts, such as what type of paper has been designated for the print job.
3) HP has attempted to make printing easier. They worked with Autodesk to develop a single driver that you can use if you’re printing from Power Point or from AutoCAD. There is no separate HDI driver. HP has incorporated all the capabilities of Autodesk’s HDI system into a special custom system printer functionality so HP’s driver will give you all the functionality of an HDI driver and all the ease of use of a Windows interface..
In addition there are more advancements in the batch printing capabilities, instant printing capabilities for subcontractor and plan room customers or collaborative customers. Autodesk’s new release of Design Review includes a batch printing plug in that allows you to take a batch of files and print them very easily. Built in to Design Review are some special capabilities for one click printing for Designjet printers called HP Instant Printing.
You can drop a PDF, JPEG or TIFF file directly into a queue in the printer. If you have a mapping customer with a lot of map TIFF images that you need to have printed out at 2 x 3 feet, you can browse for TIFF files on your desktop, tell it what size, pick 30 of them, go to lunch, come back and they’ll be printed.
According to the press release, “the HP Designjet T1100 Printer series, including the HP Designjet T1100, T1100ps and T1100MFP, is targeted at larger CAD and GIS work groups who need to manage larger print runs. The HP Designjet T1100ps has more compatibility with graphic design applications, offering network capabilities and the ability to be shared efficiently among multiple users in a network environment. The HP Designjet T1100MFP, built to work together with the HP Designjet T1100 Printer series, brings complete scan and copy functionality and provides high-quality resolution for create precise and detailed output.”
“We’re making large format as hassle free as small format printing,” said Gramley. The simple printing interface is designed for people who do not necessarily have access to the original application, are not CAD or GIS experts, and just need output. With this interface, combined with faster print speeds, image quality and the ability to preview your job, HP hopes to put confidence back in the process of large format printing.
Pricing and availability
The HP Designjet T1100 Printer series will be available early June 2007. The HP Designjet T610 Printer series will be available during July 2007. The HP Designjet T1100MFP is expected to be available Fall 2007.
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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.
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