Architects make use of various tools and resources, all of which contribute to the production of high-quality work for their clients.
Creating designs, using different applications and software is only the first step of getting a vision from brain to reality. The printers that architects use have to match up to the standards of every other aspect of technology being utilised.
The best 11×17 printers for architects will not only print on larger print media but will also provide outstanding resolution.
And it is not just a printer that you could be after. Scanning and copying are all tools that an architect needs in their arsenal as they get their creations out into the world.
List of 11×7 Printer For Architects
Comparison Table For 10 Top 11×17 Printer for Architects
What Printers Do Architects Use?
Architects use wide format printers that offer a minimum 11×17 inch print media input. The reason for this is that most of their work will be printed on larger paper.
Additionally, architects require a printer capable of a great deal of line accuracy, as they work in an industry where precision is key. Not only do lines need to be accurate, but they also need to be thin. The finer the line a printer can produce, the better that printer is for an architect.
What Is The Difference Between A Plotter And A Printer?
Plotters are better suited to architects as they mainly use computer-aided design applications for their large designs. A plotter will allow the printing of vector designs using file formats such as DWG, CDR, and AI. This is different from a regular printer that prints representations direct from a screen in file formats such as BMP, PDF, and JPG TIFF.
A printer uses bitmap or pixels when printing, while a plotter gives output that is more akin to a vector graphic in that the image is made with lines.While regular printers can only print one line at a time, plotters can print many at once.
Finally, a printer is resolution-dependent. This means when an image is enlarged; the pixels enlarge that image becomes distorted. By way of contrast, Plotters are resolution-independent, meaning no distortion occurs when the image is enlarged.
Which Is Faster, Plotter Or Printer?
Printers tend to be faster than plotters. However, the exact speeds of a printer or a plotter can be determined by looking at the specs of a specific device.
Considering plotters have been built due to an architect’s need for precision, it may not be wise to sacrifice the precision of a plotter for the speed of a printer unless that printer has been designed for architectural work.
Can A Regular Printer Print 11×17?
There are wide-format printers available that can handle this type of print media.
However, your regular, entry-level desktop printer can likely handle paper with an 8.5-inch width.
How Do You Print On 11×17?
When ready to print:
- Click ‘File’
- Click ‘Print’
- Click ‘Properties’
- Click ‘Preferences’
- Click ‘Paper/Quality
- Open ‘Paper Size’ dropdown
- Click ‘11×17’
- Click ‘Ok’
- Click ‘Print’
What Is 11×17 Paper Called?
11×17 paper is traditionally the paper size that newspapers were printed on. For this reason, it is known as ‘tabloid paper’ to some people. It can also be referred to as ‘ledger paper’.
What Laser & HP Printers Can Print 11×17?
- HP COLOR LASERJET PRO M454DN
- HP COLOR LASERJET PRO M454DW
- HP COLOR LASERJET PROFESSIONAL CP5225DN
- HP LASERJET ENTERPRISE M806DN
- HP LASERJET M209DW PRINTER
- HP LASERJET M209DWE
- HP LASERJET PRO M102W
- HP LASERJET PRO M15W
5 Best 11×17 Printers for Architects Reviews
1. HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 | Best 11×17 Color Printer
When searching for an 11×17 printer, the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 is always one of the top options on everyone’s list as it offers an architect almost everything they need due to its ‘all-in-one’ nature.
Two input trays mean that you can readily load up two different sizes of print media for convenient use. That means you can have your 11×17 paper loaded, and the second tray filled with A4 print media for when you need to print ordinary documents.
Both of these trays hold up to 250 sheets or paper, and the output tray will allow for 75 sheets.
This printer has a maximum resolution of 4800×1200 dpi which is good enough to get high quality, detailed printouts which are complemented by a 4-individual cartridge configuration. This does not make the printer a dedicated photo printer, but it does allow for high resolution printing with a good color saturation.
Print speeds are fast for a color printer in this affordable price range, with 22 pages per minute (ISO) possible in black, and 18 pages per minute (ISO) possible in color. You won’t find many higher speeds for printers with the same color resolution and quality.
The flatbed scanner has an optical resolution of 1200 dpi and comes with a convenient 35-sheet auto-document feeder, which means that you can scan multiple documents without having to stand around.
- 65 touchscreen control panel
- Duplex printing function available
- Borderless prints maximum 11×17”
2. WorkForce WF-7710 | Best Tabloid Printer
If you are an architect who already has a decent scanner, then an ‘all-in-one’ printer may not be what you are looking for. The Epson WorkForce WF-7710 functions solely as a printer and does the job very well.
The first specification of note is the larger maximum media size of this wide-format machine. Whereas the previous printer on the list provides 11×17” prints, this printer offers a larger 13×19” print option.
After that you can find other upgrades as well, from a printing perspective.
The overall print resolution of 4800×2400 dpi will give you an image with greater clarity. This is supported by a 4 individual cartridge configuration which will see your printer utilising black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges.
A 2.8 picoliter ink droplet size will also allow you to get a finer detail than other printers in this price range can get you.
Two input trays again allow you to load up 2 different sizes of paper in your printer, and the WF-7710 has a 125 sheet output tray which means it will catch quite a few printouts before you need to go check on it.
Overall, this is an excellent printer for an architect’s needs.
- Extra 1 sheet rear feed for less used media types/sizes
- Prints borderless up to a maximum 13×19”
- 2” mono graphics display to easily navigate printer functions
- Monthly duty cycle of 20,000 pages for reasonably heavy printer usage
- Special media support for envelope printing
3. Canon PIXMA TS9520 | Best Printer For Architects
The Canon PIXMA range has always been one that people can rely on, especially when looking for a printer that will manage a superior photo print.
The PIXMA TS9520 is a versatile all-in-one printer that meets the 11×17” media size requirement that architects need to get their work done.
Where this printer stands out to the previous two entries on this list is its configuration. Thus far we have looked at two printers that have a 4-individual ink configuration. The TS9520 differs because it has 5-individual inks which helps it to provide a more outstanding photograph or color printout.
The resolution of this printer is similar to the first at 4800×1200 dpi, and lesser than the second. So, the choice to make between the PIXMA and the WorkForce, is whether you want slightly higher resolution, or slightly better coloration.
As with the other printers, this also has 2 input trays. The capacity is slightly less at 100 sheets each, but it still is convenient to be able to have different media types loaded up.
The flatbed scanner has an optical resolution of 2400dpi, making in better than the first option on our list.
- 3” Touchscreen control panel for easy to use printer navigation
- Extra connectivity features through compatible memory cards
- Capable of printing on envelopes and CD’s if required
- Duplex printing function to help you save both time and paper
- Borderless printing capability on media sizes 8.5×11” maximum
4. Canon Pixma iX6820 | Best 11×17 All In One Printer
The Canon Pixma iX6820 is a serious printer, and because it does not come with scanner or printer, you are getting higher printing specs for the same price as one of those all-in-one options that don’t print nearly as well.
The first specification of note comes with resolution which is much higher than anything else we have seen on this list so far at 9600×2400 dpi.
As mentioned earlier, ink droplet size can make a huge difference to the type of detail you are getting on an image. With this printer you can choose between a 1, 2 or 5 picoliter droplet size.
Use the 1pl droplet when wanting to print off some really high-quality work and change it to 5pl if doing some rough work. This will save you ink and time.
The configuration of this printer is set up to produce outstanding image printing. 5-individual cartridges in its configuration (magenta, yellow, cyan, black and pigment black) allow you to get photo quality printouts.
The iX6820 is also one of the larger wide format printers available, offering borderless printing up to a maximum 13×19” print media.
It does, however, lack the dual input trays of the other printers on this list. But a single input tray of 150 sheets is a small price to pay for superior print quality.
- A dedicated quiet mode allows you to print without added distractions
- Auto Power On and Auto Power Off for energy conservation
5. Brother MFC-J6930DW | Best 11×17 Printer
The final printer on our list is a higher-end all-in-one printer that provides superior scanning and copying functions than the other two all-in-one printers on the list. Naturally, these come with an additional cost in comparison.
Printing wise this meets all the requirements for the everyday printing needs of an architect. 4800×1200 dpi resolution, 4-individual ink cartridge configuration and a maximum print size of 11×17”.
It is also a speedy printer offering 22 pages per minute in black, and 20 pages per minute in color.
Both duplex and borderless printing are possible up to the maximum print size making this printer easily one of the best we have seen.
The standout features elsewhere lie in the scanner which has an optical resolution of 2400×1200 dpi and also offers the possibility of duplex scanning. A 50-page auto-document feeder aids your scanning, as you won’t be manually loading individual sheets.
The copier aspect of the machine is also fantastic, with a copy resolution of 4800×1200 dpi; duplex copying available; and the possibility of 25-400% reduction/enlargement.
This machine meets almost every need you can have and does not compromise on quality in any area.
If you have the budget, it is a must have.
- 7” LCD touchscreen allows you to scroll easily through printer settings
- Massive 500-page input tray, perfect for bulk printing
- 100 sheet multi-purpose tray for those times you use different print media
- Monthly maximum duty cycle of 30,000 pages
11×17 Printers for Architects Buying Guide
So, before purchasing the best 11×17 printer for architects, you should consider the following tips that are going to benefit you.
a) Maximum media size
Even though you are looking for an 11×17” wide format printer, that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to that as a maximum size.
There are plenty of high-quality, affordable printers out there that offer you 13×19” printouts.
You will also want to check two other things when looking for maximum media size.
The first of those things should answer the question, “What is the maximum borderless print I can get from this printer?” The second question is, “How many input trays does this printer have?”
Let’s work on the basis that your printing needs are not solely based on 11×17” paper, and that you also have a fair amount of printing that is done on A4. Having two input trays will make sure you don’t have to faff about constantly changing paper to suit your direct printing need.
Resolution is important for any printer, but especially so when looking for the best printer for architectural drawings.
You need a printer that is going to do justice to your work so a 4800x1200dpi printing is the bare minimum you should be looking at.
If you want higher than that, at a reasonable price, it might be better to go for a machine option that doesn’t have an all-in-one functionality.
You can get much higher resolution, at affordable prices, when you are buying a printer that focuses on solely being a printer.
The number of ink cartridges a printer has really does matter, especially if you are intent on getting better shading and deeper color saturation in your printouts.
You should as a minimum be looking at a 4-individual ink configuration, but if you are able to get 5 or more individual inks you are looking at a much better color printout.
Ideally, you should be looking for printers that have been configured for photograph printing. These are going to give you the best images.
d) Duty Cycle
You need to consider the amount of work you want your printer to do otherwise there is a danger you will overload it and be back on the internet hunting a new machine sooner than you anticipated.
Check the maximum duty cycle – you really want this to be in the tens of thousands. But also check the recommended duty cycle. The maximum number is basically where your printer will die. Recommended is where you will start hitting a jamming problem.
That completes our list and comparison chart for the best A3 printer for architects.
We’ve provided you a fair selection of printers that offer a wide range of functions and varying degrees of quality.
One thing is for certain, even the least capable printer on the list is going to do a great job for you. We are essentially dealing in levels from very good up to great. Therefore, you needn’t worry that you will be purchasing a dud.
All the printers meet the specifications for an architect’s need, with the all-in-one printers providing a great deal of service if you need scanning, copying and faxing.