HEWLETT-PACKARD 750c and 755.

The era of pen plotters has been replaced by color inkjet printers. The Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 750c PLUS and HP DesignJet 755cm are full color and 600 dpi for line drawings with 300 dpi for color renderings. These 700 series printers have in turn been replaced by the HP DesignJet 1050c and 1055cm which produce 600 dpi for both line and photographs.

The 750c and 755cm are the last of the first generation printers, in effect the last of the old CAD plotters. Even though pen plotters themselves have been abandoned by most manufacturers, the designation has stuck for any slow "plodders" that did well with basic architectural drawings but was not very impressive with photographs.

The HP DesignJet 1050 and 1055cm were the first generation of Hewlett-Packard DesignJet printers to bridge the gap between having the best of both words, high quality drawings and renderings as well as acceptable photographs. I saw what the HP 1055 was capable of at several trade shows and as a result decided this would be an ideal printer for our facility.

FLAAR is a nonprofit research center associated with the architecture department at each of the two university campuses where we maintain inkjet printer evaluation studios. FLAAR itself is an institute dedicated to the photographic recording of architectural history (of pre-Columbian civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica). Thus our experience is in maps, architectural drawings, and plotters. We have two color CAD plotters in our institute currently and there is another in the architecture department itself, next door. FLAAR also has two different brands of photo-realistic quality large format inkjet printers (24" up to 60" models).

Every architecture professor on campus loves the HP 1055, indeed the students themselves refuse to use the older HP 4xx series in the architecture classroom. Instead they make a beeline next door to the FLAAR inkjet printer facility to ask if they can print their images on the 1055.

The 1055 has inherent banding at its high speeds but this does not seem to bother either the professors nor the students.* They like the colors and the overall impact of the image. Indeed the student who won the First Prize in a recent competition on campus had his image printed on the FLAAR printer from Hewlett-Packard.

Today you can also opt for the HP 500 (for a small architect's office) or the HP 800ps, for a workgroup of graphic designers. You can get these HP printers network ready, something which is necessary at a university or at any large company.

If you are lured by the low prices of the earlier models, HP 4xx series, HP 6xx series, or HP 7xx series, we recommend you opt instead for the HP 1050 or 1055 if you need 36", the HP 500ps if you need even better color for photographs, the HP 800ps if you wish a faster model for a larger workgroup, or the HP 5000ps if you want the ultimate quality. We have the 800ps arriving shortly for graphic design as well as for architectural renderings, really complex designs that will look nicer on the 1200 dpi of that printer. And we selected the HP 5000ps when we needed a 60" image in UV resistant pigmented inks.

When deciding what plotter to buy, you have Oce, Canon, Encad, Xerox XES ColorgrafX and a host of other technologies to select from. Just as the horse and buggy was replaced by the automobile, so the color inkjet technology is replacing all the earlier electrostatic, blueprint, and other monochrome printing systems that architects relied on for years, even decades.

For additional information and for help making your decision on what printer is best for drawings and renderings, check the reports for the "FLAAR report on CAD-GIS plotters." on www.wide-format-printers.net

If this will be your first color inkjet printer or your first large format printer where you need help understand what a RIP is, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. Purchase the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why.

If you really want technical details on inkjet media, inks, and/or inkjet printhead technology, and especially if you wish to meet the movers and shakers in this industry, be sure to sign up for the next conference organized by IMI. Their contact is [email protected]. These seminars are outstanding; the senior review editor of FLAAR usually attends because he can get so much fresh information for the readers of the FLAAR Reports in PDF format and the FLAAR Information Network of web sites.

* the horizontal banding tracks can be reduced by setting the printer for photo realistic mode. The banding can be virtually eliminated by calibration and/or by using one of the better software RIPs. Our printer evidently got the printheads unaligned during shipping from Barcelona to the USA to Guatemala, Central America.

Most recently updated March 11, 2005.
Previous updates:July 2003, March 7, 2001.