Source for big and cheap printers?

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Millenniumfalsehood, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Let's say I've got a model that has all parts on one sheet and I want the sheet to stay the same but I want to print it on a large sheet of posterboard.

    a) how much is the cheapest printer that I can use to print posterboard?

    b) how big will most print shops go with large sheets and how much would it theoretically cost?

    c) is there someone here who would be willing to print this for me on a sheet of posterboard?
  2. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Off the top of my head...

    Inkjet systems from HP being the best way to go.

    $2500 Used - $5000 New (the salesmen are going to push the newer ones because of Vista compatiblity)

    Color Laser, I am not really sure.

    A print shop like Staples/Office Depot, Kinkos would be your best bet since your burning up their resources. I have never tried to push the boundaries on cardstock and stayed no larger than 11x17.

    Not sure how thick poster board is but one could print on bond in color and mount it on any surface they wanted.

    I have to say, watch out for scaling up parts. If the image is a PDF theres a good chance it was created with vectors which will scale up but there is a good chance it's going to be a jpg which looks like 'crap' when you scale it.

    Any samples would help me be more accurate.
  3. mbauer

    mbauer Cardstock Model designer

    answer to a) depends, I bought a HP 450c plotter on eBay for $500 plus $400 shipping to Alaska. This plotter is not designed to print on cardstock, it only prints on paper and vellum (2ft wide by 3ft sheets of Springhill 125# Tag can be printed).

    Answer to b) What do you mean by "print shops"? Kinkos and the Pip are "copy shops" while you must look up professional "printing shops" in the yellow pages.
    I talked to one once about doing some of my models, they can even "die" cut the parts when they print. They used a 28"x40" printing press. Cost just to set-up = $3000 plus cost of ink/paper/cardstock. Dies are made special and cost $1000 each. (i needed 10 of them!)

    answer to c) I have the capability to plot on 2ft x3ft Springhill Tag 125# (about the same weight as Index 110# cardstock) Any heavier and the plotter has all kinds of things to hang up on!!

    To print 70-sheets takes 14-hours (parrallel port, and only 300 dpi). So I only print when I have too. I'm just about ready to print out an Alpha of the F86 Sabre, so if you would like something printed-PM me. I have a basis weight of Springhill Tag 125# (500-sheets 24"x36" @125lbs)

  4. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    I am mainly asking because I have a model that I want to convert into a large plastic version by using the model as a template. The model I'm talking about is an Asp mk 2 from the PC game Elite, and it only has twelve polygons to deal with. The only file I can find of it is a ship-net from an old website, and yes, it's a jpg. but the quality doesn't matter so long as I can determine roughly where the lines intersect. Putty and sheet styrene can handle any messes.
  5. paper_dude

    paper_dude New Member

    I live in Bangkok, and there is a Canon print shop here that has a very cool setup. They can print out large sheets (not sure how large), then move them to an ESKO i-cut image press (C7000VP). Then, using special marks placed in it from illustrator, the machine will cut out everything - perfectly. No special dies or tools needed.

    I inquired how much it would cost to print out some pages, but I wasn't happy with the response. He was cutting out 4 rectangluar squares from 11 x 17 sheets. Each sheet cost just over $3 to cut each. And that was on an order of 1000 sheets.

    I can't imagine what setting up and cutting a custom paper model with all it's parts would cost. But it was very cool to watch the machine do it's work.
  6. Padre

    Padre Guest

    I scaled up my WR at Kinko's, cost about $32 to scale all the pages.

    Attached Files:

  7. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    I take it that they didn't try to play 'copyright police' about making copies of printed material? I know in the past when I've tried to make copies out of roleplaying game books that they'd hassle you even when the pages specifically said copies were allowed to be made. I've wondered about trying to use their scanners for backups but haven't tried yet.
  8. The Hermit

    The Hermit Member

    i have not had a problem at kinkos up sizing my bought models

    but i never went beyond 11x17 and it was fairly expensive to do it on there laser printer

    i too am trying to research the best printing large format inkjet
    has any one purchased one of the hp's that could give a review?
  9. OhioMike

    OhioMike Member

    Go to your basic office supply store, not the chains, they sell the latest the the cheaper! Your looking for older used versions of either the HP mentioned or an Alps printer. Your mostly going to find 11x17 capacity machines but the Alps and other architectural drawing machines do larger. The key is to go to a lower key, basic office supplier, or even office equip., repair shop.
  10. mbauer

    mbauer Cardstock Model designer

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