Printers for CAD drawings HP DesignJet 430, 450C and 488CA.

The HP Designjet 430, 450C and 488CA are long ago obsolete, and today in 2009 there are many brands and models available for technical drawings, CAD, GIS, AEC construction and engineering drawings and renderings.

But since used printers are available on eBay, FLAAR keeps its old comments on our web site. So if someone offers you an elderly CAD plotter, be wary.

The capabilities of the Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 800ps suggests its time to retire the earlier Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 430, 488CA, and 450C. These HP 400-series were current printers in 1999 (FLAAR began evaluating wide-format inkjet printers about 1997).

The advances with the HP 130 suggest it is time to use that to retire the HP 500ps.

If you wish black only, however, better find an HP 430 quickly, since hardly any of the newer printers are monochrome. 300 dpi is also a thing of the past. The newer HP printers are 1200 x 600 dpi. The problem with any elderly HP printer is that spare parts and tech support are no longer available.

FLAAR is a nonprofit institute. For several years we were associated with the architecture department at each of the two university campuses where we maintain inkjet printer evaluation facilities. FLAAR itself is an institute dedicated to the study of architectural history (of pre-Columbian civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica). Thus our background is in maps, architectural drawings, and plotters. We have two CAD plotters in our institute currently and there is another in the architecture department itself, next door. FLAAR also has several other large format inkjet printers (24" up to 60" models).

The university in Guatemala rebuilt the entire portion of campus we were on, so we moved off campus into our own facilities a few kilometers away. The university in Ohio tore down the large building that housed the FLAAR facility so we moved to a more reliable situation back in St Louis where FLAAR was for years before we experimented with being on a university campus. Every time a dean or provost changes, the new university official prefers his or her own pet products, and usually trys to skuttle any projects of previous administrations (in order to get their budget for his or her own pet projects).

If your architectural practice is growing, you might also want to consider the HP Designjet 4500. The HP Designjet 4000 was not very popular: FLAAR did not even feel it was worth evaluating after users told us about it.

For additional information and for help making your decision, ask for the FLAAR report on CAD-GIS plotters.

If this will be your first wide-format inkjet printer or your first 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.

We only recommend resources that offer competent technical support, experience based on years in the business, and a company where we have personally met (and checked out) the people behind the name. Thus if you are considering acquiring any HP DesignJet printer, you can contact CGS with confidence.

Used HP DesignJet printers for CAD, GIS, renderings, technical drawings.

We do not recommend the HP ColorPro CAD printer. It was so bad that the evaluator said he would rather use any other printer but that.

The HP Designjet 500 and 500ps was not really a very good printer. The HP Designjet 800 and 800ps was better. The HP Designjet 5000 and 5500 was significantly better.

The HP Designjet 1050 and 1055 had issues and banding problems. Was not a very sophisticated system. It could be usable under some conditions, but not all units were very healthy. Again, the HP Designjet 5000 and 5500 was immeasurably better.

Wide-format inkjet printers for CAD, architecture, renderings construction.

Today in 2009 you can select from a host of printer technologies: laser, LED, color pearls (Oce), or wide-format inkjet. HP holds the most market share; Mutoh has attempted to interest architects in their Mutoh Drafstation, but you have to do more than just offer a single printer to impress architects, engineers, and construction people.

So Canon has launched more than a dozen different iPF printers for CAD, GIS, architectural renderings, technical drawings, construction AEC and engineering drawings.


Most recently updated May 4, 2009.
Previously updated Jan. 30, 2006, March 11, 2005, July 5, 2001.