Ultra Wide Format printers, for billboards.

List and links to principal manufacturers of extra-wide large format printers for making billboards, especially billboards covering trucks and buses, 3M, Idanit (ScitexVision), Salsa, Nur Macroprinters, Signtech, and Vutek.

3M Scotchprint, large format electrostatic printers
Data Mate Co., Ltd.
Rembrant, large format printers
Tokyo, Japan, fax 81 3 5383 2273
Idanit USA
Idanit 162AD, Piezo turbojet, 300 dpi. I believe this is part of ScitexVision now.
Lac Corp,
Michelangeo, Raffaello, Da Vinci. This company makes printers which are most politely described as unusual. Quality is awful.
Tokyo, Japan, fax 81427 51 6225
Matan Digital Printing Ltd.
Actually now Matan makes a thermal transfer system, which is for outdoor use but is not a grand format size.
Nur Macroprinters
Blueboard HiQ and other large format
Salsa, extra large format printers. Signtech sold Salsa to Nur.
Scitex (ScitexVision)
Scitex makes a variety of highly regarded ultra-large wide format printers for doing billboards, indeed for covering entire buildings (or buses and trucks). Scitex Grandjet V, Scitex Idanit Novo
UltraVu 5300 and other wide-format; some models also sold by Ilford Imaging in the USA market.

Vutek UltraVu models can handle 10 foot wide material or 16 foot wide material (3 meters or 5 meters wide). Vutek is an international company with offices in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

We happened to see a Vutek printer in action at the Ilford Imaging booth at the recent PMA photography trade show in Las Vegas. Ilford offers a complete systems solution, everything you need to do digital printing in-house.

Once you start using wide format printers you quickly find that software for desktop publishing such as Adobe PageMaker is no longer adequate. You need special layout software for signage. More information on this software will be available as our coverage increases. We just inspected the sign layout software at several sign shops in Toronto, Canada.

If you are printing images billboard sized you need industrial-strength storage such as a RAID system. We recommend a company which sells all name brand hard drives, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW, and offers capable technical help.

Images with long proportions are the most appropriate for wide format the size of a billboard or banner. Thus the seamless digital panoramas and the circumferential rollouts of round objects (such as Maya vase rollouts) are especially appropriate to print on a sign printer such as Scitex, Nur, Idanit, Signtech, Vutek or 3M.

Nicholas Hellmuth's thematic reports on large format printers now available
large format printers for outdoor signs, banners, billboards, building wrap: lists of all the main solvent ink and oil-based ink printers along with thermal transfer printers which can be used outdoors with no lamination.
reviews of large format printers most appropriate for signs, posters, banners including POP, primarily for indoor signage: HP, Encad, and more
large format printers appropriate for use in printing vehicle graphics, bus wrap and comparable outdoor use.
media and inks for signs, posters, banners (for all printers, piezo as well as thermal inkjets, media for indoor as well as outdoor without lamination)
quick-start help, list of the best RIPs; hints for what accessories you need; list of where you can get books and training on digital imaging.olor
you can ask for one thematic report and two trade show reports at no cost
We do NOT cover: software headaches, obsolete equipment, color matching or problems caused by prior mistakes.

Our job is to save you from buying the wrong equipment by alerting you to advertising hype and help you avoid as many of the common pitfalls as possible. We even have a pithy report on "what to watch out for....guide for first-time buyers" when you suspect someone is making up claims in the hopes of luring you into buying their printer. Includes frank assessment of exaggerated longevity claims and gives lots of helpful tips and insight.

Although we can't save you from negligence, stupidity, lack of common sense and failure to read the instruction book, we can at least prepare you for the reality of digital imaging. We want to help you enjoy this experience and save you from the typical common mistakes of first time buyers.

Some of the ads are so misleading that even pros are lured to buy an inadequate printer. So no matter what your experience level, you will find these reports informative. They are written in a humerous style: how else can you review misleading advertisements?

To receive your report just provide the information on the inquiry form (or just do it in your own words until we create a structured auto-response system). At present we answer all e-mails in person, yes, a live human being actually reads your e-mail, and will answer in 3 to 5 days.
all reports are appropriate for beginners, intermediate, hobby as well as graphics professional level