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RE: Buying a plotter

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It may not fit your definition of reasonable at around $1500, but the HP
5000 Laserjet is a workhorse for 11x17 (and smaller, of course) b&w plots.

David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025
386-752-6400

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Wilson [mailto:wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 8:52 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Buying a plotter


Great advice!  Thanks to both (all) of you.  I checked
with the local Staples and they can plot .pdf files
derived from AutoCAD.  I don't think they will deliver
the prints, but I can email files and they are only a
couple of miles from my house.  That's about as
convenient as you get away from the big city.

Now, I'll hunt around for a reasonable 11x17/tabloid
printer.

Jim Wilson

--- gmadden(--nospam--at)maddengine.com wrote:

> When I started my one man business back in 2002, I
> couldn't afford a full
> size plotter. I previously worked at a firm in San
> Francisco that did major
> projects (i.e. high rises up to 90 stories). The
> first day of work, they
> brought me around to introduce me to everyone. I
> quickly made friends with
> the head draftsman because I knew how to do cad and
> he appreciated that.
> He was showing me where to look at past projects and
> everything was on a
> bookshelf in 11x17 sets. I asked him where the
> plotters were and he pointed
> to the HP5si printer in the middle of the office. It
> was a laser print that
> can print letter and tabloid size. He explained
> exactly what David mentioned...
> we reduce our line weights so they are legible when
> printed at a reduced
> scale. We don't have to buy ink cartridges, paper
> rolls, or stand around
> for hours (or in line) while a job prints. We just
> zip the cad files and
> send them out to be printed. He said I'd get used to
> it when back checking
> and about a month into it he was correct.
>
> So when I started out on my own, I picked up a used
> HP5si printer on Ebay
> for 300 bucks. It's still going strong and it's all
> I need. I spend about
> 200 bucks for a toner every year and that's it. Most
> of the printer companies
> use PLANWELL, you just get an account, make PLT
> files in cad like you'd
> do anyway in batch plotting. Zip the files, send
> them out, they deliver
> to your office for 5 bucks and you have your sets.
> The first run of plots
> can be expensive. BPS in San Francisco charges about
> 3 bucks a sq.ft. for
> the first run then the standard 25-27 cents a sq.ft
> for the additional sets.
> I have found places that charge as little as 10
> cents for the first run,
> but the print quality and paper are cheap. I use a
> place that charges 75
> cents (just raised it from 50) a square foot for the
> first run on good paper.
> It's the way to go if your local printer has the set
> up...almost all do
> around here.
>
> Hth,
> -gm
>
> >-- Original Message --
> >From: "David Fisher" <dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com>
> >To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> >Subject: RE: Buying a plotter
> >Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 17:31:51 -0500
> >Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> >
> >
> >Jim:
> >
> >If you can avoid it, DON'T BUY ONE...
> >
> >I bought the HP "state of the art machine" two
> years ago....no one in this
> >offer
> >EVER uses it!
> >
> >*(*&^%^%$#$@$%^&*(*
> >
> >What a waste of money!
> >
> >
> >Its one of the few things I really get tick
> about...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Plus, getting reimbursed is very difficult!
> >
> >Clients tend to be better about paying plotting
> bills when they come from
> >an
> >outside vendor rather than your "plot log"
> >
> >
> >
> >If you can, have everything sent out to a printing
> service and get a decent
> >copier that does 11x17s.
> >
> >
> >That?s what 99% of our in-house printing is.
> >
> >
> >
> >That way, the service takes care of maintenance,
> upgrades, supplies, etc...
> >
> >
> >One less headache!
> >
> >
> >
> >David L. Fisher  SE  PE
> >Senior Principal
> >Fisher + Partners Structural Engineers inc
> >372 West Ontario
> >Chicago 60610
> >
> >312.573.1701
> >312.573.1726 fax
> >312.622.0409 mobile
> >www.fpse.com
> >
> >David L. Fisher  SE  PE
> >Director
> >Head of Design and Construction
> >Cape Cod Grand Cayman Holdings Ltd
> >75 Fort Street
> >Georgetown Grand Cayman BWI
> >mobile 312.622.0409
> >www.ccgch.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Jim Wilson [mailto:wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)yahoo.com]
> >Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 5:13 PM
> >To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> >Subject: Buying a plotter
> >
> >Does anyone have any good or bad plotter buying
> >experiences that you would like to share?  I'm
> looking
> >to buy my first plotter to handle up to 36" wide
> B&W
> >prints.
> >
> >Is the safest bet to buy through a reputable dealer
> >with a service plan, or should I be looking to buy
> a
> >used plotter somewhere?
> >
> >And is there a particular brand to avoid, or one I
> >should consider?  I'm only familiar with HP's, so I
> >suppose that's what I would ask for.  There are
> just
> >so many models to search through.  The few numbers
> I'm
> >familiar with seem to be discontinued (HP 650
> Design
> >Jet series).
> >
> >Speed plotting is not really a concern.  I also
> don't
> >need much for bells and whistles as I will be the
> only
> >user.  I'm figuring on spending up to $1500 for a
> >simple machine, but would be willing to spend more
> for
> >"must-have" upgrades.
> >
> >Thanks in advance,
> >Jim Wilson
> >
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