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View Full Version : What's the biggest Printer you've ever seen?!?



CP/M User
November 24th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Well, I one I thinking of wasn't exactly a computer or at least I don't think it was. I was in a Printing company & they had some room sized thing. I was only there for an Interview in relation to a Printing Apprenticeship. They seemed to have many other sub machines which performed operations & you had to prepare sheets properly in order for them to be printed properly. To me this sounded like a highly complicated process & that it didn't sound like my kinda work. I think the size of some of those machines worried be a bit too (hence safety regulations for those machines).

But what I've never really seen is a computer printer which takes paper larger than A3. Has anyone got photos of printers of this magnitude. Or does anyone know of a computer printer which takes it's own special paper (larger than A0)?

And what type of printer would it be. I think a relatively large printer would have to be a Laser, but perhaps an Ink-Jet may exist. I couldn't see a huge Dot-Matrix - well perhaps their could be - with the correct ear muffs. And what about the ol' Plotter, perhaps they could be of any size.

CP/M User.

Mad-Mike
November 24th, 2005, 12:32 PM
Well, I've seen some Epson Dot Matrix printers at the Hospital where my mom works that print out using fan fold paper that's about 20" wide. Those suckers are so loud everybody evacuates the room when it's running because of the noise.

I saw someone once with an IBM...or was it a Lexmark in their office that must have been the Marshall Stack of laser printers, it had 7-8 drawers underneath for all these different kinds of paper and stationary they used.

Terry Yager
November 24th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Yes, I've seen plotters that take roll paper that's about 3 - 4 ' wide. I also once saw an IBM "chain printer" that was about the size of a washing machine, although the bottom part of it may have just been a "stand" for the print mechanism.

--T

CP/M User
November 24th, 2005, 12:59 PM
"Mad-Mike" wrote:

> I saw someone once with an IBM...or was it a Lexmark in their office
> that must have been the Marshall Stack of laser printers, it had 7-8
> drawers underneath for all these different kinds of paper and
> stationary they used.

That's what I forgot to mention - at school we have a Xerox Photocopier which doubles as a printer. I haven't seen it print anything larger than an A3 page though, but it has a lot of trays (persumibly for custom large sized sheets) & when I've been Photocopying on it I think you can add custom sized sheets to it. It's a very good little unit, the only thing it doesn't do (which bugs me a bit) is print doubled sided in colour (perhaps there's no printer which does - even though it can do B&W). Being a photocopier though the quality is equal to a laser printer - so Colour printing is truly amazing. Can't remember the exact model of this machine - but I do recall it being refered to it being a Xerox DocuPrint. Must be worth a few quid. Wonder how much it costs to service it - couldn't imagine it being cheap (which is usually the problem with Laser printers).

Our teacher also has some kind of HP which prints upto A3 as well - which works well when it's working! ;-)

CP/M User.

P.S. Hope you understand my A4, A3 lingo - I thought these expressions work on an international scale. If not A4 is 298x211mm (11.7inx8.3in) slightly smaller than foolscap. A3 equates to two A4s side by side (23.4x16.6in), A2 is two A3s side by side (46.8x33.2in) and so on. A0 is generally the biggest in the series.

vic user
November 24th, 2005, 01:12 PM
i am in charge of running 15 large format printers at work, for the purpose of printing nautical charts for the public.

i use 100 yard rolls of paper anywhere from 31 inches wide to 42 inches wide, and can also use 60 inch wide paper, but we don't need that size.

hypothetically, the printers can also produce stunning copies on photo paper of images downloaded from the net, say of Doctor Who ;)

chris

Jorg
November 24th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Largest one I know (besides plotters) was a line-printer about 70"wide. connected to the PR1ME system we were working on back then.

Terry Yager
November 24th, 2005, 01:32 PM
i am in charge of running 15 large format printers at work, for the purpose of printing nautical charts for the public.

i use 100 yard rolls of paper anywhere from 31 inches wide to 42 inches wide, and can also use 60 inch wide paper, but we don't need that size.

hypothetically, the printers can also produce stunning copies on photo paper of images downloaded from the net, say of Doctor Who ;)

chris

Are these printers, or plotters (or both)?

--T

CP/M User
November 24th, 2005, 01:38 PM
"Vic User" Wrote:

> i use 100 yard rolls of paper anywhere from 31 inches wide to 42
> inches wide, and can also use 60 inch wide paper, but we don't need
> that size.

Okay, interesting that sounds like there's many sheet styles if you generally have paper between 31in & 42in. A2 would be the standard at around 33.2in wide.

"Jorg"

> Largest one I know (besides plotters) was a line-printer about 70"wide.
> connected to the PR1ME system we were working on back then.

Wow, so it sounds to me as if those printers can handle A1 sheets of paper, which I calculated at 66.4in wide.

Sounds as if you've seen some king whopping Plotters, do they generally get to the size of a small room?

Cheers,
CP/M User.

vic user
November 24th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Are these printers, or plotters (or both)?

they are glorified ink jet printers.

use 6 different colour ink carts. each cart. containing 680ml of UV resistant ink.

each colour with a separate printhead

can handle a vast array of media.

printers have 20gig HD's and 256megs RAM.

they can process a 100meg file and start printing in under 30 seconds and can complete a 36" x 60" image, using optimum quality, in about 7 minutes.

impressive machines but the company that makes them are not one of my favs. as their support sucks as far as i am concerned, and thus have not mentioned their name ;)

chris

Terry Yager
November 24th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Are these printers, or plotters (or both)?

they are glorified ink jet printers.

use 6 different colour ink carts. each cart. containing 680ml of UV resistant ink.

each colour with a separate printhead

can handle a vast array of media.

printers have 20gig HD's and 256megs RAM.

they can process a 100meg file and start printing in under 30 seconds and can complete a 36" x 60" image, using optimum quality, in about 7 minutes.

impressive machines but the company that makes them are not one of my favs. as their support sucks as far as i am concerned, and thus have not mentioned their name ;)

chris

Would that be H/P, or perhaps Houston Instruments, or even Epson?

--T

vic user
November 24th, 2005, 03:33 PM
one of them ;)

the same people who used to make the machines in USA, then Spain, and now Indonesia.

if they can find lower wage and environmental laws, they will end up being made there.

chris

DimensionDude
November 24th, 2005, 04:50 PM
Hmm...saw some really big printers (not typesetters) at a local printing shop but I don't know any specs.

The largest printer I have is a Printronix P6040. Maximum page width is 14 inches. The really cool part of it is the print mechanism. It's a dot-matrix with (I think) 44 print hammers in a row on a cam driven shuttle. Each hammer can print 3 positions (left, center, right). I guess it's not a true line printer since it can print only one row of dots at a time, the page must move up to print the next row, and so on until the character is formed. Each hammer is actually a flat spring that is held against a magnetic bar. There is a coil behind each hammer that fires it out to make the impression. On recoil, the magnetic bar catches the hammer and holds it for the next cycle. Pretty noisy, fairly fast, and totally amazing that it even works at all.

It was used where I work as a label printer. The labels were approximately 3 by 6.5 inches, two across. A normal run would be 1000 labels. I estimate that it ran continuously 4 to 6 hours each day for several years. It has just enough brains to hold the label format and keep a count so once a run was started, the computer wasn't needed until the start of the next run.

Currently has 3 non-functioning hammers but otherwise seems to work ok. Haven't had the time to delve into it to see if I can fix it. Heavy sucker, too. Took 2 people to get it in the house.

Kent

thefoolonthehill
January 13th, 2006, 05:31 AM
this huge laser printer at my dads work for printing chip designs.

CP/M User
January 13th, 2006, 11:33 AM
"thefoolonthehill" wrote:

> this huge laser printer at my dads work for printing chip designs.

What do you mean by chip designs? Is this like used in electronic designs -
printing boards, schmatics as such. I could see where a Laser Printer
would come in handy (e.g. Attention to detail).

CP/M User.

shirkahn
January 13th, 2006, 03:57 PM
I had the chance at (read- I wanted but wife overruled) a pair of Calcomp electrostatic plotters. Each one took paper up to 72" They had been used to print out full size templates for a heat exchanger manf. here in town. They were driven by a team of Vaxen, one of which is sitting in my lab now.

-ShirKahn