Community Forums

Share:

Plotter Decision  

Page 1 / 4

Jim Frame
Posts: 5947
Member
(@jim-frame)
5,000+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

My DesignJet 450C is now 18 years old, and while it hasn't exactly been trouble-free, in general I've been pretty satisfied with its performance.  But this morning its yellow cartridge crapped out, and ink cartridges for it are no longer being manufactured.  I can find new-but-expired cartridges on eBay, but I don't know if they'll work, and their availability going forward is likely to be limited.  I thought this might be the time to explore the service bureau option again.

I plotted the drawing I need to PDF and sent it to FedEx/Kinko's.  It's a 2-sheet 24"x36" topo in color, and I need 2 copies of each sheet on bond paper.  FedEx just called and said that the cost will be $57 and change.  That seems kind of pricey, especially when I just need check prints.  The FedEx guy said if I went with B&W the cost would be around $31, but even that seems like a lot.  Maybe I'm just cheap.  (Okay, there's not really any maybe about it.)

I don't generate many prints these days -- most of my deliverables are digital -- but I do need to see check prints occasionally, and Records of Survey have to be on mylar.  So I'm reluctantly thinking that I need to retain an in-house plotter.  What's the latest recommendation for a minimum D-size plotter?

22 Replies
2 Replies
Charles L. Dowdell
(@charles-l-dowdell)
Joined: 9 years ago

500+ posts
Posts: 791

Jim:

 

I still have the cartridges I sent you a list of last August. The black shows an Expiration date of Nov.  2017 and the colors are earlier. I assumed that you got the list, but weren't interested as I never heard back from you.  I've always had some luck with getting an out of date cartridge to work by wetting a paper towel and working with it to get it flowing again. I still have the list if you would like to nsee it again. Let me know.

Reply
M.McBride
Member
(@mmcbride)
Joined: 3 years ago

5+ posts
Posts: 15

After starting my business a year ago, I began to realize that I needed to have a plotter in the office. I didn't have time to wait for Staples or the builders exchange to print check prints let alone drive to get them. Also being a small town, no one will print on mylar for recording even if I provided the mylar.

I went with the Canon IPF780. Love this machine. Quality and speed are great and price is affordable. 

Reply
Daniel Ralph
Posts: 593
Member
(@daniel-ralph)
500+ posts
Joined: 5 years ago

My Designjet 500 is still lugging along. I use it to plot originals and check prints. However deliverable copies are done at the local UPS store. I don't do color but I am not paying anywhere close to what you are being charged. Is FedEx picking them up at your office and delivering them? Do the prints come framed? 

Reply
1 Reply
Daniel Ralph
Member
(@daniel-ralph)
Joined: 5 years ago

500+ posts
Posts: 593

I just came from my local UPS store where they charge $5/sf for color prints. 

Reply
RADAR
Posts: 4486
Member
(@dougie)
2,500+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

Local print shops, around here, are about half of what the big chains charge, for color and Mylar.

You might look at leasing a plotter; that way you'll get a new one every couple years. Just make sure you fold the extra cost, into your hourly rate.

Reply
Skeeter1996
Posts: 651
Member
(@skeeter1996)
500+ posts
Joined: 4 years ago

What I've observed about you. I'd recommend a cheap one.?

My town has a shop that fills empty inkjet cartridges at 1/2 the price HP sells them for. They usually work the same as originals. HP has a chip on the newer cartridges that won't let them work, but I just keep taking them back till I get one that works.

You can't give away old Plotters.

Reply
Brad Ott
Posts: 4497
Member
(@brad-ott)
2,500+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

Ditto what others have said re: the local UPS Store.

Reply
Page 1 / 4