PostScript RIP, convenient lists and complete links for most software PostScript RIP solutions.

Hardware RIP versus software Postscript RIP? If you prefer a software PostScript RIP solution, here are links for 3M, Amiable Technologies (Scanvec-Amiable), BEST, Harlequin, Image Technologies Developments, Onyx Graphics PosterShop, PosterJet from DCS Software, Posterworks, ProofMaster from Perfect Proof, ScanVec, SeeColor, Visual Edge Technology, Wasatch, and YARC software RIP. What I prefer about hardware RIP is that your computer is free to use while the RIP server handles the wide-format printer (Mac is definitely not multi-tasking). But most large repro shops and service bureaus have dedicated computers for their wide format printers so will not be using that computer for other concurrent tasks anyway. Software PostScript RIP solutions are more economical. What if you print day and night? Which is faster? Which is more cost effective? e-mail us if you would like to provide information from our own experience.

Some of these RIPs stand out. Onyx PosterShop is definitely an industry leader, indeed was selected by Ilford to power all Ilford printers (the Ilford version of the Encad and of the ColorSpan wide format printers). Image Technologies Development (not to be confused with Image Technologies Corp.) offers dual RIP capability for color copiers (Canon, Ricoh, Sharp, and Xerox, among others) as well as inkjets. BEST is a good selection if you need sophisticated color management (such as if you are using an Epson 3000 or Epson 5000 as a color proofer). PosterJet offers speed and support for all six inks of six-ink systems.

VividImage Technologies offers a "scan to wide format" RIP solution which we hope to review shortly. I got an impressive demo at the recent Seybold trade show. Contact Sergio Alves, [email protected] for more information.

Informative list of software PostScript RIP options.

Below are primarily software RIP solutions; if you want "hardware" RIP, that is on a separate page devoted to hardware RIP. Increasingly "software" RIP products are bundled with a PC, and function as a print server, probably a dedicated printer server. In this case the solution could be considered as a hardware RIP. Thus you need to check both pages, "software RIP" here, and "hardware RIP" elsewhere in this web site. AHT ColofFlare is a good example. It could just as well be here on the software RIP page, but it works with a PC (though naturally can receive from a Mac, Unix, or whatever).

If you are an entirely Mac-oriented graphics shop or photo studio, don't get upset at the idea of using a Windows NT workstation as a RIP solution. This is considered the best way to handle RIPing nowadays. You still do all your digital imaging on your favorite Mac. But since Macs are not exactly multiprocessing (yet), it helps to have a PC take over the RIP chores so you can continue to use your Mac while the image is being RIPed and printed.

3M Commercial Graphics Division
Cactus, Scotchprint, Mac and PC Encad, HP, Mimaki, Xerox...unfortunately, Cactus RIP has fallen behind over the last two years.
Amiable Technologies (now Scanvec-Amiable)
PhotoPrint Server, Mac and PC supports wide range of printers. Early editions were not industrial strength. OEMed by Roland, Encad, and other companies.
a fine color management RIP for proofing. Flagship product for PC; for Epson's but also works on other printers such as Roland, Encad, Hewlett-Packard. At one time Kodak bundled BEST with its printers in Europe
PowerRip 5.2, for most small (desktop) Epson printers. If you need an industrial strength RIP then opt for the professional RIPs for the Epson, such as from BEST. BEST is a professional RIP. The slick Epson ads do not warn you that you will have to buy a separate RIP to print text. For the Epson 1520 and Epson 3000, the RIPs and drivers may not always work well no matter what. Hard to judge if this is the fault of the RIP or the cheap printer.
CADlink Technology Corp.
PrismPrint CromaEdition, PC; SignLab (Windows); Photoscript. We have not seen this company at any tradeshow recently Mac, PC, Unix; supports wide range of printers. Hardware as well as software RIPs. Photoscript supports six colors in Epson 9000, Mimaki, and Roland
Cyclone This RIP sort of disappeared and has definitely not kept up (even if they still function)
has an interesting new product with Gretag (EyeOne). EyeOne has considerable potential in color management but we have not yet tried this software.

ColorMark Pro 1.5G, hardware RIP

RIPStation 1 G is another

We have their hardware RIP and really like it with the ColorSpan DisplayMaker II printer at our university.
Continental Milano
MilanoPS RIP Print software company's main products are inkjet media. This is the sort of RIP that you hardly every hear about
Posterjet RIP, Mac and PC Kodak. This is now designed as PosterJet (see below)
DCS Software Ltd.
PosterJet software RIP; Version 6 now out. Very fast, well designed, easy to use.

A capable RIP from a competent company.

the new version of this extraordinary RIP offers outstanding capability to the professional printer, print-shop, repro-shop, pre-press shop, and photographer. Also has budget version. Our printer lab technician prefers PosterJet
Dr. Bott
Color management RIP for most Epson printers (only)
Durst-Dice America
Gerber Scientific
ImageRIP, Mac and PC several
Harlequin (OEM)
ScriptWorks RIP, proofRoom supports wide range
Ilford Imaging
RIPStar is Ilford's version of Onyx PosterShop, industry leader. For Ilford's Encad and older ColorSpan printers. This is a RIP we like very much.
Image Technologies Developments
Wisp-PS, Mac and PC supports wide range of printers
Lumina Office Products
LPC-1100, scanner-RIP combo from scanner to print directly to wide format, rather interesting solution. Vivid Image, however, makes a potentially better scan-to-wide format system.
Management Graphics Inc.
Intel, Windows NT, for Canon, Ricoh and Minolta color copiers plus Encad and HP wide format printers.
Onyx Graphics (Raster Graphics) now part of Gretag Imaging
PosterShop also available from Ilford as IlfoStar supports very wide range of printers, ICC color profiles, etc. You can operate a scanner from this software as well ("scan to wide format RIP print")
increasingly popular now that they have distributor for the USA  
Picaxo Arts
Picaxo PostScript Level 2 RIP (for PC) a layout program is also available
PosterWorks, Mac and PC a good layout program for posters
PrePress Solutions
Panther RIP software PrePress is a traditional printing company, imagesetters and that kind of equipment
AccuPrint wide range (merged with Amiable)
software RIP Pleasant people at their booth at German CeBIT tradeshow, but no office in USA
Light Bridge HP 2500 CP; not many new products
S. H. Pierce
see PosterWorks
nice layout software for tiling billboards, not a RIP as such
Torque Systems
RipServer this is a server, not a color management RIP
Visual Edge Technology
for Mac and PC, based on Harlequin (a benefit) Encad, HP, CalComp, Mimaki, up to 600 dpi. Actually this seems to be a hardware RIP
Vivid Image Technologies
review upcoming
scan to wide format RIP solution
Wasatch Computer Technology Inc.
PosterMaker, Soft RIP software, PC HP, Epson, Roland, Mimaki, and Encad. Good RIP from a capable company with good people behind it.
YARC Systems Corp.
YARC-EZ (went bankrupt) Encad, Epson, HP, Mimaki, Roland and others.

I tend to learn towards software RIP made by companies whose RIPs can handle many different printers.

OEM versions pop up under different labels. We try to identify what is under the covers, but that is not always possible. Usually the OEM software is from Scanvec-Amiable, but not always. We have met pleasant and capable people at their booth at tradeshows, but the software has not yet impressed us. The onboard"Ps" on HP DesignJet's is especially slow.

EFI sent us a Fiery Hardware RIP which meant we did not need any software RIP (until we saw the limitations of EFI Fiery). We quickly learned that almost any software RIP had more features than EFI hardware Fiery. Our first software RIP we tried eas, ILFOStar, Ilford Imaging's version of Onyx Graphics PosterShop. Then we found out about PosterJet. We saw this at DRUPA and Photokina tradeshows in Germany.

What does FLAAR itself use? We have BESTColor, PosterJet, Wasatch, ColorGate, and several other RIPs. PosterJet is the fastest we have seen anywhere.

This list of software RIPs is not intended to be complete, since new companies pop up every year. Others disappear or get swallowed up by other companies. We do not recommend using any cheap no-name RIP. The only hardware RIP that meets our standards is that by ColorSpan. We have a separate list of hardware PostScript RIP solutions, but it needs updating. This list of software RIPs is not intended to be complete, since new companies pop up every year. Others disappear or get swallowed up by other companies. We do not recommend using any cheap no-name RIP. FLAAR also offers additional reports on RIPs via e-mail. But you need to fill out the "inquiry form".


Most recently updatedDecember 7, 2001.