Review of the potential of wide-format color inkjet printers such as ENCAD. Imagine having your own wide format color printer in your office, next to your desk, available at any time. You can produce posters, banners, work prints, at any size, in full color, economically. It helps if you start with a high quality digital image. FLAAR uses software provided by Better Light to obtain special capabilities for the Dicomed Field Pro.

Print rollout

Shown here, rollout photographs of two Late Classic vases from the Costa Sur (Escuintla area) of Guatemala. Photographed at the Museo Popol Vuh. Printed in the FLAAR digital imaging technology center at the University Francisco Marroquin. Printer courtesy of Encad.

On the Epson model 1520 ink jet printer it took seemingly forever to get a single print at 11x17 inch size. It tied up the entire computer system the entire time. The Epson 3000 has all the same flaws.

On some days as many as 15% of the Epson prints were defective, a considerable waste of time and ink.

With the ENCAD, it takes 2 minutes for the computer to feed the data to the EFI Fiery RIP. Thereafter your computer is completely free for you to use while the RIP handles the ENCAD printer. The print itself is finished 5 minutes later, exhibit quality.

Laminating your wide-format prints is highly recommended. This protects the prints from water, fingerprints, and actually enhances the color and overall appearance.

At a professional lab each of these prints would cost perhaps $60 to $100 apiece. But the cost of the ink and paper are only about $3 for the rollouts.

The photo gloss paper here is from American Ink Jet Co. It comes in semi-gloss, full gloss, or whatever finish you wish. Their photo paper is made specifically for the ENCAD NovaJet Pro.

Recently we tested an Hewlett-Packard 3500 CP wide format ink jet printer, 600 dpi. It was rather slow, but you can speed it up by adding an external RIP.

A 300 dpi 36 inch wide rollout takes perhaps 8 minutes to print on the ENCAD combined with an EFI Fiery RIP. Overall we found the ENCAD better quality workmanship than the slow and costly Epson. The Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 2800CP, however, is a much better printer.

 

Related links
Fine-line incised Maya bowl, rollout with Belgian 70mm film system
14-foot long enlargement of rollout from Swiss 70mm film system
Closeup of the actual equipment used to take these photographs of Maya art

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