Best Large Format Printers for Architects

Best Large Format Printers for ArchitectsA mastermind behind the development of most ravishing buildings and structures is you, an Architect. Unfortunately, all your masteries, plans, and blueprints go useless when it comes to their printing.

A relatable situation happened to you many times, right?

Well, it might be as terrifying as seeing a loin (jokes apart). But, if you have worked for hours to design a couple of plans and then finalizing them onto the paper, your printer takes hands up to do anything.

Stress causing and horrible incident!

So, you might have wondered why this all happen and why does your handy just back off. There’s nothing like rocket science or significant facts; it’s simply because your old handy just gets older and is not compatible to deal heavy printing.

Moving to the second situation!

Let me guess you might be starting off your architect career and looking for a sleek yet highly proficient printer that can print your plans, maps, 3D modeling designs, and other stuff with high quality, right?

Either of the reasons you need to hold tightly, wait, what? Pardon me. I’m talking about the main features that determine whether a printer is eligible to meet your architectural shores or not.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of the best large format printers for architects that ensure top-notch quality printing and produce high-resolution prints and intricate display of details of various plans, blueprints, technical documents, drawings, maps, 3D and 2D designing.

These printers allow high-speed printing without affecting the quality of prints. Most of them come with built-in wireless connectivity options, hard drives, copiers, and scanners that help you have all-rounder for your needs.

Plus, their auxiliary features handle large-sized and big projects, including printing of A0 and ANSI F paper sizes for posters, banners, and promotional materials.

Now, let’s break the deal to help you find more facts that will lead you to buy a better companion from our top picks.

 

NameFeature 
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Printer*
(Editor’s Choice)
Supports auto 2 sided document printing.
HP DesignJet T130 Printer*35 sec/page on A1, 70 A1 prints per hour.
HP DesignJet T210 Printer*Ideal for AEC, GIS, and MCAD professionals.
Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 Printer*Free poster creation software.
Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Printer*Print shop quality color graphics.

 

1. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide-format Printer

QUICK OVERVIEW
  • Brand – Epson
  • Printing Technology – Inkjet
  • Print Media – Plain paper and Card stock
  • Weight – 18.7 pounds  
  • Dimensions – 18.8 x 30.9 × 16.0 inches
  • Price – under $350

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide-format PrinterIn general, large format printers are expensive. However, the Epson XP-15000 is a budget-friendly option on our list. With a 30 percent reduced footprint than its predecessor, the printer is ultra-compact.

You can easily place it on your desktop or even a chair if need be. And since the printer is lightweight, you can easily carry or move it around your workspace.

However, the installation process, from unpacking to setting up the printer, is laborious. But once everything is synced, you can link it with any device, whether it’s your smartphone, MacBook or Laptop. The wireless connectivity is effortless, and you can start printing in a matter of minutes.

The 2.4-inch small color LCD on the front helps you navigate menu settings. This screen also tilts up for better viewing when you change the paper size.

However, the buttons feel cheap and could be better. You can load a maximum of 200 pages in the tray and print specialty media, including cardstock. The rear paper feed is easy to load and designed for you to print as large as 11×17 size quality photos.

Capable of fast printing 4×6 borderless prints as fast as 27 seconds and HD photo quality photos up to 13 x19, the Epson XP-15000 is one of the best large format printers for architects.

Besides, the Epson XP-15000 comes with a whopping 6 ink reservoirs. This feature not only helps you get the most prints out of a single cartridge but is a better value for your bucks.

For architects that need good quality prints, whether it is plain paper or cardstock, the printer churns out premium results. The good news is, it’s even better on glossy paper.

However, you may find puddling of ink on cheap paper. Hence always remember to use good quality gloss paper for maximum results.

That said, my major gripe with the printer was the lack of a touchscreen. Due to being relatively small, you will find it hard to read the text. Also, the directional buttons seem old school, and navigating through them makes simple tasks feel tedious.

In the end, Epson XP-15000 is one of the best large format printers, i.e., cost-effective, and a good value for money and gives you fantastic fast photo prints in no time.

However, the ink runs out quickly, and the printer stops running even if a single cartridge is empty. So, if you’re afraid of running costs, you may want to consider other options.

Pros
  • Small footprint
  •  Excellent print quality
  •  Efficient software
  •  Fast printing
  •  User-friendly
Cons
  • It runs out of ink fast

 

 

2. HP DesignJet T130 24-in Large Format Printer

QUICK OVERVIEW
  • Brand – HP
  • Printing Technology – Inkjet
  • Print Media – Paper (plain)
  •  Weight – 55 pounds  
  •  Dimensions – 38.86 x 20.87 x 11.22 inches
  •  Price – under $800

HP DesignJet T130 24-in Large Format PrinterThe HP Designjet T130 is an entry-level plotter primarily designed to print architectural drawings other than graphic images. With a 55-pound weight, this large format printer is a beast.

So, unpacking is a little tricky and cannot be done single-handedly. However, with a small size and girth, it is relatively compact than its counterparts. And although it will fit most desk spaces, we recommend you place it on a sturdy one.

The first thing you notice on the printer is the well-made exterior. The tilted LCD on the left has an intuitive interface. Thanks to the touchscreen feature, you will also find navigation and setting up the device hassle-free.

Additionally, you can connect your devices with the printer through multiple connectivity options like Ethernet, USB, and Wi-Fi. What’s more, you can use the HP Smart app to print from your smartphone wherever you are.

The tray located at the front of the printer can hold paper between 3 x 5.6 inches and 18 x 24 inches. Also, the printer has an additional rear paper path that you can use for thicker paper types.

You even have the option to use the rear tray with or without a roll feeder. In case you plan to use it, inserting the roll sheets is pretty simple.

However, the best thing about the T130 is the integrated paper cutter that snips away extra sheets. This feature saves the hassle of manual paper cutting, particularly when you’re printing lengthy paper sheets.

Although we cannot deny that the HP Designjet T130 churns out exceptional quality prints, it’s an average player when it comes to speed. It takes around 4 minutes to print 8×12″ print and then hold the print for extra three minutes until it’s dry.

Alternately, the T130 churns simple photo prints at a fair speed. But if you aim to use it to print high-volume graphic images, you might want to get a faster device. Also, you might get optimum results on semi-gloss papers instead of glossy ones.

Overall, the HP DesignJet T130 is an excellent printer. However, it has flaws, like no borderless printing and sluggish speed when it comes to churning high-volume outputs.

Nevertheless, you might want to consider the T130 for premium quality color photos and poster-sized graphics.

Pros
  • Wireless access
  •  Roll feeder
  •  Easy setup
  •  Built-in cutter
  •  Robust build
  •  Great plotter
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

 

 

3. HP DesignJet T210 Large Format Plotter Printer

QUICK OVERVIEW
  • Brand – HP
  • Printing Technology – Inkjet
  • Print Media – Banner paper, Paper (plain), Glossy photo paper, High-resolution paper
  •  Weight – 60.9 pounds  
  •  Dimensions – 45.5 x 22.6 x 15.9 inches
  • Price – under $700

HP DesignJet T210 Large Format Plotter PrinterThe HP Designjet T210 printer is a 24-inch large format printer. What’s more, these printers are known to be the world’s smallest plotter printers that can fit in the smallest spaces.

However, it weighs on the heavier side. And though you can place it on a standard desk, it comes with the option of a built-in stand if you want to give it a dedicated place.

Moreover, the HP T210 is the best large format printer for architects who need to print technical drawings, graphics, maps, and posters. Setting up the printer is pretty simple.

It has an embedded touchscreen sitting at the top of the body. This screen is also the printer’s brain and enables you to configure the system just the way you want.

It also allows you to connect with a smartphone, laptop, or MacBook, giving you the ease of working through any platform.

What’s more, printing multiple files is as easy as ABC with the HP Click or the HP smart app, which means you can manage the plotter regardless of place and time.

Speaking of prints, the T210 produces sharp and professional-looking photos. Because it has plotter increments an inch at a time, the T210 churns output faster and prints at 45 seconds on A1/D and 59 A1/D prints per page and hour, respectively.

So whether you print 24 x 36 scrim banners, 11 x 17 book logs, or 8.5 x 11 regular prints, the T210 makes it effortless. Besides, it works well with both monochrome and color outputs.

The printer has an automatic A3/B tray that can handle media sizes up to 24″ wide media rolls and 24 x 74.7″ sheets. Besides, the printer can manage various media, including the roll feed, automatic horizontal cutter, and sheet feeds.

HP claims that the T210 produces 31 percent more precise and 65 percent better gamut than its competitors in the market. Additionally, the printer gives a 2400 x 1200 DPI resolution, has an integrated bin, and comes with a 500 MB memory.

To conclude it all, the HP T210 is a great printer for architects and creative professionals who want to print large media sizes such as banners or maps with line accuracy. It doesn’t have any apparent flaws, apart from the expensive price point.

Pros
  • Quick installation
  •  Wireless connectivity
  •  Compact
  •  High resolution
  •  Can print on large paper
Cons
  • Over-priced

 

 

4. Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 Large Format Printer

QUICK OVERVIEW
  • Brand – Canon
  • Printing Technology – Inkjet
  • Print Media –  Fabric, Banner paper and Glossy photo paper
  • Weight – 82lbs
  • Dimensions – 36 × 47 x 49 inches
  • Price – under $1000

Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 Large Format PrinterAlthough the Canon TA-20 is the heaviest format printer on our list, it has a relatively small footprint. At first glance, you notice the minimalistic style and flawless build of this Canon device.

Keeping up to its name, Canon seems to have given a lot of thinking to the design.

You can easily set the printer by following a manual with instructions given in a stepwise manner. Once you switch it on, the printer’s display lights up and advise you regarding the next steps.

I loved the touchscreen interface and the fact that it provides text description in quite a detail to guide you through the entire process.

Furthermore, you can access the Canon website to download any required software and drivers from a single source. Simply press the ‘load paper’ tab on the touch panel if you want to insert sheets.

The system will ask you to follow few simple steps. You can choose either to place single sheets or roll sheets as per your liking.

Once inserted, the suction fan inside the platen unit holds the paper. Besides, when you start the printing, the Canon’s air feeding systems help keep the paper from floating up. This feature helps keep the paper flat to bring out consistent results

The Canon TA-20 has a good print speed. It can churn out D-sized prints in around 31 seconds or 104 24×36 posters per hour. This speed is significantly better than the imagePROGRAF predecessors.

The printer places ink on paper with precision which results in high-quality outputs. Also, the LUCIA ID pigment allows smooth printing to create uniform glossiness on printed banners and posters.

Although the printer churns out prints fast, it operates silently, which means you experience less sound distraction while working on your desk.

So, whether you need to print Gantt charts, posters, architectural renderings, graphics, presentations, or technical drawings – the TA-20 has got you covered.

Contrarily, the printer consumes a lot of ink which means you run out of ink fast. Apart from this, I experienced no issues with the Canon TA-20 and would highly recommend you to invest in one.

Pros
  • Wireless printing
  •  Free ink included
  •  Easy to install
  •  Excellent print quality
  •  Economic print mode
Cons
  • Consumes ink fast

 

 

5. Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wide-format Printer

QUICK OVERVIEW
  • Brand – Epson
  • Printing Technology – Inkjet
  • Print Media – Paper (plain)
  • Weight – 32.8 pounds  
  • Dimensions – 31.8 x 22.3 x 12.7 inches
  • Price – under $400

Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Wide-format PrinterThe Epson Workforce WF-7210 is a lot similar to its predecessor, the WF-7110. However, it’s the only printer in the Epson family that misses the scan, copy and fax functionality.

This A3 printer is nowhere near compact and needs a significant space on your desk.

It comes with two trays and can accommodate about 125 A5-sized sheets. You can also configure the double paper trays for envelopes and 20 premium photo sheets.

However, moving the trays in and out seems complicated sometimes. The rear feed on the WF-7210 does a single page simultaneously, which can be a little frustrating if you’re looking for faster results but not a deal-breaker.

Another gripe I had with the printer was picking up multiple sheets of sub-paper together. This resulted in paper jams and multiple printing of the same image.

Alternately, I liked the option of user-defined paper sizes, so you customize the print size to your liking. To avail of this feature, you just have to click “user-defined” when the printer asks you to define print size.

Sadly, I found the setup a little complicated due to the tubes in the printer track when you close the lid. However, you can easily configure the control panel through the navigation buttons.

You can also use multiple connectivity options, including NFC, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct, which maximizes convenience. However, printing isn’t viable through a USB thumb drive.

As far as printing is concerned, you can print black and white pages at 15 pages per minute. Also, the color prints you obtain from the WF-7210 offer great detail and accuracy. Additionally, you get duplex printing up to tabloid-size and borderless prints as big as 13×19.”

On the downside, Epson recommends you only use the brand’s cartridges to maintain printing quality. This can be a little disappointing as the Epson ink cartridge was a little pricier than other cartridges available in the market.

Although the WF-7210 gives decent photo prints for architects, it’s advertised more like a business printer. Also, the dual trays can benefit you to get more to print more than one size of paper.

That said, the Epson Workforce WF-7210 is a decent large format printer for printing up to 13×19 inch pages for everyday work needs.

Pros
  •  Great sublimation printer
  •  Super-fast
  •  Duplex A3 and A4
  •  Double trays
  •  Value for money
Cons
  • Irremovable print heads

 

How to choose the best large format printer for architects

After having deep insight into the features and specs of the top best large format printers, let’s dig some essential factors to look into before buying a printer for architectural needs.

Starting with basic size and price aspects, you will able to identify either the printer fits your budget or prints the papers as per your size needs.

Consequently, it’s better to buy a printer that can print A0 paper sizes that is more commonly used for plans, maps, and other related things.

Secondly, the print quality comes in; therefore, 2000×1200 DPI (a standard resolution) printers will help you have a better and clear picture, but obviously, you can opt for high resolution as well when all your need is to print highly defined and clear images.

You might have known color spectrum schemes that determine the quality of your designs. So, if you do 3D modeling, you would need to identify the color spectrum you will need for your work.

Thus, choose either a cyan, magenta, yellow, black (CMYK) or red, green, blue (RGB) color scheme.

Moreover, select a large format printer that can save more cost; fortunately, nearly all the large printers give you a high-speed printing experience.

Still, always look for your specific need, either you are concerned about maps, plans, blueprints and posters, banners; choose a printer that produces the high number of pages per minute or square feet, respectively.

Another yet under-stressed factor you should consider is to determine the customer service of your respective dealer.

Because printers usually require maintenance and any mishap could happen any time, therefore, a back hand should always be there to help you at first. Or at least your dealer should be able to reach out to you as soon as possible.

 

FAQs

Which large format printer is best for building plans?

Among the mentioned list of best large format printers, you can opt for HP DesignJet T210 Large Format Wireless printer that can help you have clear and detailed building plans more easily.

How does large-format printer works?

Working with these large printers is simple, associating with the digital graphics files to ensure detailed and vibrant colored printing of your projects. Also, wide format printers give you more speedy and high-quality printing.

Conclusion
As far as we have looked over detailed descriptions on the best large format printers for architects, I hope you might have found the best fit for your needs and ready to boost your architectural skills even more.

Prior to printer’s looks, always consider a heavy machine not in terms of size or weight but with the capability to deal with tough printing chores.

If you are still overwhelmed to choose a printer, I have ranked the three top large format printers based on their value (pricing).

 

Best Value

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer

Best choice

HP DesignJet T210 Large Format Compact Wireless Plotter Printer – 24″, with Modern Office Design (8AG32A)

Premium Selection

Canon imagePROGRAF TA-20 24” (3659C002) Large Format Inkjet Printer

Moreover, you can also contact us for your customized selection; we will try to get back to you as soon as possible with better options that will exactly match your need.