Looking for the best wide format printer for your specific application? Let us help you identify the key specifications and features while weighing your options.

What Is a Wide Format Printer?

Wide-format printers, or large format printers, are printing devices that support a print roll width of anywhere from 24 to 72 inches. They’re great for businesses that regularly have large print jobs for documents like posters, banners, blueprints, signs, architectural renderings, and other wide products. Wide-format printers can help you grow and expand your company’s capabilities.

Wide Format Printer Types

There are various types of wide-format printers that you can look into. Each one has different specifications that can perform a variety of tasks.

Toner-based

If you work in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, a toner-based wide-format printer may be best for you. They use heat to fuse dry toner onto the print surface.

One of the major benefits of toner-based wide format printers is their fast print speed. They are optimal for taking on large volumes of projects.

These printers work best for computer-aided design (CAD), blueprints, housing plans, or other technical documents.

Ink-based or Inkjet

If you’re in the graphic design field, an inkjet printer may be a better choice. These wide-format printers spray small droplets of ink through a mesh filter onto the material. It’s great for printing colorful, high-quality images with different pigments.

Ink-based printers are optimal for creating banners, posters, art prints, photographs, textiles, patterns, and more.

What Size Wide Format Printer Do I Need?

Another important aspect in choosing which wide format printer is right for you is its size. They generally come in sizes of 24, 36, 44, and 60 inches. Your choice depends on the size of your printing jobs.

How Much Does a Wide Format Printer Cost?

Wide-format printers can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $65,000. Many different factors affect the price of a printer. Toner-based machines are more expensive than ink-based machines, but they last a lot longer.

What Factors Drive Up the Cost of a Printer?

Wide-format printers are typically priced based on the size of the print, the quality of the print, and the brand. Typically, a printer will be more expensive if it is larger, has higher resolution and color accuracy, and works faster.

  • Resolution

    The image resolution capabilities of a large format printer are measured by dots per inch (dpi). The higher the dpi, the better image quality you’ll get. Keep in mind, the higher the resolution of the print, the more quickly you will run out of printer ink.

  • Droplet size

    Printers with smaller droplet sizes of ink are more expensive because they give you sharper images.

  • Number of Ink Colors

    Some printers come with a wider color set than others. Some print in full color, while others only print in black and white.

  • Faster Print Speed

    The printer’s page per minute (ppm) measurement will tell you how fast it works. Faster printing means a higher cost.

  • Printer Features Will Add Cost

    You can expect to pay more for a printer with additional features, such as wireless networking or scanning capabilities.

  • Size is Important, and Larger Usually Costs More

    A 44-inch-wide printer could cost almost four times as much as a 24-inch machine.

What Factors Drive the Cost of Wide Format Printers Down?

If you need a large-format printer but can’t quite handle the price tag, you have a few options. You can buy a used machine or even lease one. Roll-fed printers will also be cheaper than flatbeds.

  • New Versus Used

    You can buy a used machine and still get the same service agreements as you would with a new one. A used toner-based printer, for example, can last you five to seven years.

  • Ink Versus Toner

    Inkjet printers are always more affordable than toner-based wide format printers. Ink is best for producing a lower quantity of projects, but with higher image quality results.

  • Roll-fed is Usually Cheaper Than Flatbed

    Roll-fed printers aren’t as quick as flatbeds, but they are extremely versatile. The machine cuts the material or paper from a roll for each project.

How Wide Of A Printer Do I Need?

The size printer you need depends on the kind of documents you need to print. You also have to consider the space you have available.

If you usually print 18-inch projects, then a 36-inch printer would allow you to print two at once. This can save you a lot of time.

Note that wide-format printers work quicker when operating at full width. So don’t get one that is bigger than you need. If you are regularly printing huge signs or banners, then a larger model will be appropriate.

Popular Wide Format Printers

There is a vast selection of wide-format printers, each with its own design and specifications. Read on to find out some of the awesome features of these popular brands of ink-based large format printers.

HP DesignJet T1600 36″ Wide Format Inkjet Printer

HP DesignJet T1600 36" Wide Format Inkjet Printer

The HP DesignJet T1600 uses HP thermal ink technology to print at a speed of 180D/hr. It’s a roll-fed machine with wireless capabilities. All you need is the HP Smart app to view and share all your print jobs right from your mobile device. It’s especially good for colorful 3D renders.

Epson SureColor T5270DR 36″ Wide Format Inkjet Printer, Dual Roll

Epson SureColor T5270DR 36" Wide Format Inkjet Printer, Dual Roll

The Epson SureColor T5270DR specializes in producing graphic posters, technical drawings, and signs at incredible speeds. It delivers sharpened details with a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi. This printer is great for outdoor use because of its water-resistant ink.

HP Designjet T830 36″ Wireless Multifunction Wide Format Inkjet Printer

HP Designjet T830 36" Wireless Multifunction Wide Format Inkjet Printer

If you’re looking for a compact large format printer that can make copies and scans, the HP Designjet T830 is a great choice. It’s considered the best machine for CAD images.

Epson SureColor P8000SE 44″ Wide Format Inkjet Printer, Standard Edition

Epson SureColor P8000SE 44" Wide Format Inkjet Printer, Standard Edition 

The best machine for multimedia design is the Epson SureColor P8000SE. It comes with an HD eight-color pigmented ink set and can handle material as thick as 1.5 mm. You can store up to 200 projects for revising and reprinting later on.

Canon imagePROGRAF TM-305 Wireless Inkjet Printer

Canon imagePROGRAF TM-305 Wireless Inkjet Printer

The Canon imagePROGRAF TM-305 comes with a new technology called the Free Layout Plus, which allows you to customize different layouts. It’s a great choice for AEC businesses.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6100 Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6100 Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer

Looking for an even bigger printer? The Canon imageProGRAF PRO-6100 is 60 inches wide and offers high-quality and high-speed image processing. It has advanced security features and larger ink tanks. It’s a great choice for someone who wants to create professional, color-consistent photos and art.

Buying A Wide-Format Printer Online

If you’re interested in buying a wide-format printer online, you’ve come to the right place. OfficeCrave.com carries a wide selection of wide-format printers from the top brands like HP, Epson, Canon, and more. Our printers are available for just about any budget, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for on OfficeCrave.com – it likely doesn’t exist! Need help finding your perfect wide-format printer? Feel free to contact one of our helpful customer service representatives for more information.