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Blueprinting, reprographics, large format, and other namesI interviewed Ewan Tallentire, owner of Denver-area reprographics shop Albion Repro & Graphics, about the changes he’s seen over a couple decades in the blueprinting industry, and the history before that. Yes, I know, reprographics doesn’t sound like an exciting topic. But it’s related to both architecture and printing, so between great buildings and Johannes Gutenberg, there's a lot of related history. Reprographics goes by many names, such as blueprinting, large format printing, wide format copying, digital publishing, and document printing. The name changes because the product changes, as new technology comes into use. It’s always been about those drawings you build from: construction plans, blueprints, architect drawings, house plans, home plans, engineering drawings, floor plans, landscaping plans, etc. But as the drawings went from pencil to computer, how they got copied also changed. What hasn’t changed: the job hazard of paper cuts! Reprographics industry trends - less space, price, and smellReprographics became a business independent from architecture because architects and contractors didn’t want big, noisy, smelly machines in their offices, not to mention the training, experience, and money the machines required. Recently, printers, plotters, and other reprographic equipment have become small, cheap, and non-toxic enough to fit many offices. Today’s prints are usually black-and-white printing on bond paper, most often the 24x36 size. There’s no need for the variety of media and printers that existed in the past, and the shelf life of supplies is much longer. As a result, many architecture firms and contractors do their own printing, and many reprographics shops have gone out of business or changed focus. Like blacksmithing after cars replaced horses, reprographics is changing as an industry, but it still has its uses. The search for the ideal: reprographic media and printersTo understand where things are going in reprography, you have to look at how it got where it is today. From the beginning, it’s been a search for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest solution to three problems: something to draw onsomething to make copies onsomething to keep for a recordThe following timeline shows some of the types of printers and media used for copying, and what order they came in. I do wonder what the first architects of the US Capitol would have thought of AutoCAD and floor plans that could be emailed rather than engraved. Architectural originals: the need for stable and reproducible recordsOnce you’ve designed a building, you want to keep the records for very practical reasons of knowing where you can make changes or how repairs will affect it, but also for historical reasons to show future generations what you did.  So it would be nice if the original plans could last as long as the building itself.  You don’t want to expose the originals to the wear and tear of the construction site, so you want copies made for actual use.  You also may want what I’ll call semi-originals; copies of all or part of the original printed on something stable enough to treat like an original.  That way an architect in Denver can keep his originals while sending the semi-originals to a building site in Kansas City, without fear of losing everything in the mail. Before the digital age of large-format printing (which didn’t really arrive until this millennium), there were several processes for copying.  All these processes were variations of shining light through the original onto a print which was treated with chemicals so shadows turned a different color from light areas.  So for fastest and best results, originals needed to be transparent, or at least as translucent as possible. Architectural originals: linenTwo hundred years ago, linen was often used both for the original drawings and for hand-tracing the plans from the original onto a copy for record. This linen was the same stuff that's used in high-quality old books: it looks like paper but it’s actually a thin woven fabric without the acidic wood pulp of regular paper. It had a paraffin-based coating to make it easier to draw on. Ewan tells of a linen original brought into his shop which was dated about 1872 and was probably drawn on with a quill pen. Architectural originals: vellum and paper sepiaLinen tended to shrink slightly, so the standard for originals became vellum, which, like linen, is fairly translucent. This is not true vellum; real vellum is made from animal hide stretched and scraped (rather than tanned, which makes leather). What is called vellum now is made of 100% rags (as opposed to the wood pulp that regular paper is mostly made of). Vellum was the standard drawing base for 50 years or more, starting in the early 1900s. In the early years of vellum, part of the drawing might be copied to paper sepia (in a diazo process which exposed the sepia to light then developed it with ammonia). Paper sepia was vellum-based with a sepia-colored emulsion. The sepia was then a semi-original that could be copied from and/or kept for record. Another use of paper sepias was to save time and effort by copying the base floor plan of a multi-story building onto paper sepia, then drawing in the details of each floor separately. Paper sepia was still being used in the 1990s; a floor plan might be drawn on vellum, then the electrical plan filled in on the paper sepia. Since architects can now draw on a computer and print directly from the file, vellum has gone out of general use for drafting (though some colleges teach hand drafting on vellum so students aren’t completely dependent on computers). Artists still use vellum, for tracing over a pencil sketch and transferring it to canvas. Architectural originals: tissue paperEwan’s shop scanned some prints, dated from 1932 to 1936, from a mansion in Denver. These were the landscaping prints, and they were on tissue paper (also known as sketch, or tracing, paper). While buildings would have been drawn on vellum, landscaping was usually just one plan, a quick sketch drawn while talking to the customer, so it was reasonable to use something as fragile but cheap as tissue paper. See this HubPage for a picture of what landscape designs look like today (hint: it's sure not a quick sketch!) Architectural copies for record: MylarMylar was, and is still, used as semi-originals, as copies for record. Mylar was developed in the 1950s, and is used in many applications (such as balloons). Its value in record-keeping is that it doesn’t rip easily, and doesn’t fade or change color as other kinds of copies do. Bluelines and paper sepias tend to go on changing when exposed to light or heat, so lines fade or images get transferred to the next paper in the stack. Mylar was first used in reprographics as Photomylar; the original was literally photographed onto the Mylar film (I'll eventually explain what kind of camera makes poster-sized pictures!) But it was a messy, expensive, wasteful, and time-consuming process. And though the result was fairly stable, it wasn’t durable: the emulsion was so soft you could scratch the image off with your thumbnail. Eventually Mylar was developed to run through printers in a xerographic process like paper. That way, the emulsion is actually infused in the Mylar instead of sitting on top of the film. Modern Mylars have mostly replaced Photomylar, but there are rumors of municipalities around the country that still require Photomylars for records, assuming (and I can't say I blame them) that an older process must be more trustworthy than something digital. Architectural record-keeping issuesOne question record-keepers have to face is the value of the records compared to the expense. Ewan says Mylar prints cost about 6 times more than bond paper prints, and he questions whether their advantages over bond paper are really worth that cost. The main point of a Mylar was to be a stable translucent base to copy bluelines from, and since bluelines have been superseded, translucency in an original isn’t important anymore. Ewan also points out that reprographers dislike Mylar since the edges are tough enough to scratch the glass on printers. On the one hand, he would like to see all Photomylars scanned to file and stored digitally on disks, but on the other hand, there is a reason record-keepers trust older formats more. Who knows what digital storage format will be in 10 years? It may be worth more to print expensively now than to convert files to a new format down the road. Physical copies are comfortingly compatible with the real world. Ewan likes to say he’s never seen a pencil be incompatible with another pencil. The copies and copiersThere is much more to say, about the copies (blueprints, bluelines, and bond) themselves, and the printers, plotters, and giant cameras that did the copying. Read Part Two to find out which is a blueline and which is a blueprint.Read Part Three to find out how big a room-sized camera is.

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With the advent of internet mostly the jobs are done without any physical paperwork but still the demand of printing has increased a lot over the years. This creates the need of getting an excellent printer that will print on and on at a very low cost and maintenance. Lets Find Best Color Laser Printer For Home and Small Business As the printing requirements are different for different people so before you go on reading this page any further we would suggest you have a look at the below link to see the list of printers according to your requirement. Just select your color output and multifunction to have a glimpse at the best printers. See Here The Best Printer According To Your Requirement You can have a look at the above link(it opens in a new window). So after you have looked at the above list according to your requirements lets see the printers we have shortlisted. It is important you buy the printer that suits your needs. There is no point in buying an all in one printer with a fax and copier if you are just gonna use the printer function only. Following we have mentioned the best printers you can buy according to the budget thus making it easier to browse through. Along with the printers mentioned below we have provided videos so you should have a look at them. So what's the wait, Lets have a look! How does a laser printer print?They use lasers in order to fuse text and images over a large drum. There are some printers that use LCDs or LEDs instead of laser to put the image on to drums but still they are categorised as laser printers. After the image gets fused on to the drum of the printer then this drum is rolled over a toner. This picks up color which is then rolled onto the paper put in the printer. Toners ued in laser printers are not that wet as ink that is why the printouts are relatively dry. The dry prints eliminates the worries of smudging of ink thus improving the print quality. Laser printer vs Inkjet printer - Why buy a Laser Printer? Earlier the rule of thumb was buy a laser printer for business purposes and buy an inkjet printer for personal use involving printing of photos and graphics but with the invent of latest technologies the new laserjets can pretty much do everything an inkjet can do. Though laser printers are costlier than an inkjet printer on an initial purchase but due to lower print cost per page and greater time between the need for replacement of the toner and drum makes a laser printer more cost effective in the long run especially if you have a large need for printing. The laserjets moreover print faster than a standard inkjet. The printout of a laserjet is more dry and there is less of smudging in comparison to an inkjet print. Best color laser printer under $500Brother all in one wireless color printer (model no. MFC9340CDW) If you wanna buy something that is a complete set to all your needs of printing, scanning and faxing documents that has features of very costly office copiers then this printer is definitely you should look for. It has got all in one capability of performing printing, copying, scanning and faxing. The printer does its job very quietly and if someone is looking for a printer that does not produce annoying sounds for all day printing then it should definitely be a strong candidate in their list of printers. Besides being silent the whole unit is concealed very nicely and prevents any dust and dirt from entering in. Printer’s touchscreen is very responsive to even light touch thus no more annoying experience like in other printers. Print from anywhere and anytime by using Google Cloud Print, airPrint, Brother iPrint & Scan (free application that can be downloaded), cortado workplace and Wi-Fi direct. All the wireless setup is quite simple and straight forward. It works flawlessly with almost a device like iPad, iphones and iPods. Scanning to Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.net, FTP and email is extremely simple by using the touch screen interface. It does not require any app or drivers as you can directly print using airprint. You can save energy as the unit automatically goes into sleep mode as early as 1 minute after printing is over. With the automatic duplex printing(i.e. two sided printing) and single pass duplex scanning and faxing you can save time. The print quality is extremely good producing crisp high impact colorful and black business documents with a resolution of up to 600 x 2400 dpi. The printing speed is quite fast with speed up to 23 ppm(pages per minute) by using Brother's unique digital LED printing technology. Technical specifications: Connectivity: Wireless 802.11b/g/n, RJ-45 Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Weight: 57.8 pounds Pricing: You can buy this printer at a much cheaper price at online stores than the regular stores. After checking out a number of online stores we found the best price for this printer(link is provided below -link opens up in a new window). You can have a look at the lowest price for Brother All in One Wireless Color Laser Printer here. Best color laser printer under $300Brother laser printer HL4150CDN with Color duplex printing and networking If you are looking for a fast, high performance, network ready color laser printer that is ideal for small work groups or offices then Brother HL4150CDN could be your best option. It offers excellent and high quality print outs at an impressive printing speed of up to 25 ppm(pages per minute) both in black and color. The color and sharpness of the printouts are excellent. You can save your time with automatic duplex printing for the documents that are two-sided. It is excellent for color documents meant for business purpose which are delivered at a resolution of up to 2400 x 600 dpi. It comes with full four cartridges and moreover its cartridges are much cheaper as compared to HP cartridges. It could be the printer to go for if you want a value for money product. Save your money with the high yield printouts at 6000 pages for black and 3500 pages for color with the replacement toner cartridges. Setting up the printer is very easy and it can be networked to home or office network with an ethernet cable. Technical specifications: Printing Speed: It is Up to 25 ppm black and color Printing resolution: It is Up to 2400 x 600 dpi Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet Dimensions: 19.1” x 16.1” x 12.3” Weight: 46.3 pounds Pricing: $249 Best color laser printer under $200Brother HL3140CW color laser printer with wireless networking If you are looking for a compact, energy efficient and affordable machine for your small business that can save you money besides providing fast printing then it is definitely the printer to be considered. Get digital color printing with wireless networking. The print quality is crisp and clear with high impact colors. It prints documents at a speed of up to 19ppm(pages per minute) for both both color and black.It offers a decent paper capacity of 250 sheets in an adjustable paper tray. There is manual single sheet feed slot to print thicker things such as envelopes. Print wirelessly from your iphone, ipad, android, Kindle Fire, or windows phone using Google cloud print, airprint, brother iPrint & Wi-Fi Direct and scaning. If you don’t want to use wireless then you can print using USB connected to a laptop or desktop computer. Save money on electricity bills by using this printer as Brother Printer HL3140CW goes automatically into deep sleep mode which consumes even lesser than 1 Watt of power when not being used. This printer uses new greater capacity replacement color toners that provide 7.5% lower color cost per each copy in comparison to standard brother capacity replacement color toners. The print quality is superb producing color documents that give the professional touch for your business with print resolution up to 600 x 2400 dpi. Brother gives 1 year limited warranty besides free phone support for the lifetime thus no worries about printer servicing. It is very easy to change toner cartridges. Technical Specifications Printing speed: Up to 19 ppm(pages per minute) Print Resolution: Up to 600 x 2400 dpi Paper Size: Up to 8.5” x 14” (legal paper size) Time to First Page: less than 16 sec Memory: 64 mb Energy star Qualified Print technology: Digital color LED Processor: 333 MHz Does not support duplex printing Maximum paper Input is up to 250 sheets Compatible media types: Plain paper, envelopes, recycled paper, bond, labels & glossy paper Compatible OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP Professional, XP Home, XP x64, Server 2003 x64 Edition, Server 2003, Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Mac v10.7 x, Mac v10.8 x and Mac v10.6.8 Wireless printing using mobile devices: AirPrint, Wi-Fi direct, Brother iPrint & Scan (free app), Google Cloud Print It comes with one set of starter toner cartridges (BK/C/M/Y) (can print 1,000 pages each) HP wireless color laserJet CF147A#BGJ pro 200 M251NW Excellent quality for color print with resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. It is very easy to setup the printer. It can be very easily connected wirelessly to a MacBook. It is very easy to operate the printer with its good and simple touch screen panel. For those who want to print watermarks in their printouts then it is one of the best printers for that. The printer’s toner warns quite early thus you have enough reserve still left that you can keep on printing and replace the toner later. Technical Specifications: Printing speed: It is up to 14 ppm for both black and color. Printing resolution: It is up to 600 x 600 dpi Connectivity: 1 Ethernet 10/100Base-TX network port, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port, Wireless 802.11b/g/n networking, 1 Host USB. Dimensions: 20.2” x 15.9” x 13.9” Weight: 41.4 pounds Pricing: $180 HP printer LaserJet Pro 400 M401n You can print from virtually anywhere with help of HP ePrint. It is easy to install and very easy to use. There are no problems with the installation of drivers and setting up the hardware connections. The airPrint enables wireless printing from almost any device like iPad, iPod touch or iPhone. Just you need to do is plug the printer into Ethernet after that just click "print" on your iPhone with the same network to get the printout immediately. You can also share printing access via creating an ethernet network. It has a 250 sheet paper capacity. The time taken between cold start and printing in just 5 seconds and it is like a breeze after that. It has feature of auto paper selection. The printed text is very clear even after magnification. This printer is post script compatible which is required by companies requiring to print raw post scripts. It has a face up output tray with flap at the back. Technical specifications: Dimensions: 14.2” x 14.4” x 10.5” Weight: 22.2 pounds Pricing: $207 Tell Us What You Like & Help Others!! Please do participate in the opinion poll below to tell us which printer you like. You are welcome to leave comments below.

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