Blueprints turning into digital prints

Digital technology is replacing traditional blueprint printers and offering lower per-page costs for plan printing and plotting on plain paper.

Digital technology is replacing traditional blueprint printers and offering lower per-page costs for plan printing and plotting on plain paper.

Oce's 9400 series printer, announced by New Zealand agent U-Bix last week, offers scan and print, save to disk, print from disk, copying, plotting and enlargement functionality from A4 to A0 paper sizes. It will print from standard CAD applications as well as other common desktop packages, including desktop publishing applications.

In addition it incorporates image enhancement technology to improve scanned low quality originals, such as old blueprints, and increased printing speeds (1.6 A0 prints per minute with 5% ink coverage as compared with current systems taking 7-8 minutes per A0 print).

Bruce Koefoed, U-Bix's Oce products manager, says the printer system, which comprises two separate units, is a low to mid-volume model and the aim is to bring the cost of an A1 plot down to around a dollar. He says it is aimed at mid-size architectural offices, engineers, government departments and copy shops.

He is unwilling to talk about the price of the unit, saying there are many buying options including rental and leasing and for the target market the cost per print was the central issue along with labour savings that the system will offer.

He estimates the New Zealand market for the system to be around 20 units.

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