Suffice it to say that a lot has changed in the world of technology over the last decade.
In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the rise of cloud computing, mobile phones, apps, and SaaS services that aim to solve pretty much every conceivable problem. There’s also been the emergence of IoT devices, edge computing, and 5G networks. There’s VR, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, too. The list goes on.
While it might not be top of mind for many people, the same level of transformation has taken place in the realm of printers in recent years.
Simply put, the printer you’ve been using for the last several years probably can’t keep pace with the demands of today’s leading engineering and architectural firms.
With the economy projected to accelerate as the world opens back up this year, now is the perfect time to retire the old printer for good and invest in a powerful, modern solution designed to meet the needs of the most effective architectural and engineering firms.
Unfortunately, you can’t just invest in any new printer and expect great results. As you begin your search for a new CAD printer for your organization, here are five key requirements to keep in mind.
First things first: You need to evaluate the environment the printers will be used in, as well as the people and workgroups that will be using them and the kinds of projects you’ll need support on.
For example, if you run a small home office or find yourself working in a hybrid environment, an entry-level CAD printer might do the trick. If you have a busy team that doesn’t have time to spare waiting around for a slow printer, a mid-range CAD printing solution might be a better option. Finally, if you’re a large enterprise that’s on a steady growth trajectory, you might prefer a top-of-the-line printer designed for production CAD and graphics.
Not sure which option suits you best? Generally speaking, the more teammates you have, the faster your printer needs to be.
In the last year or so, many architects and engineering teams made the transition to remote and hybrid work. This rapid change in where and how people are working highlighted the importance of connectivity for printers.
When searching for a new printer, be sure to pay attention to the device’s connectivity.
For the best results, look for printers that support Wi-Fi and high-speed LAN connections. That way, your team will be able to print from practically anywhere on most devices, and jobs can move more quickly through the queue to help increase your team’s productivity.
In the age of high-profile data hacks — where the average breach costs $3.86 million, according to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report — security is more important than ever before. And this is a trend that will not die down any time soon.
As many companies have learned the hard way, unsecured printers can present an enticing entry point bad actors use to infiltrate networks.
Luckily, printers that include high-end security features can help users avoid that fate. Important security features to look for include user authentication that’s enforceable over remote networks, printer servers, and office networks.
4. Cost-efficient with ink
To avoid piling up expenses after you’ve rolled out your new printer, you may want to consider cost-efficient options when it comes to ink.
Generally speaking, printers that can hold large ink containers are more cost-efficient; the bigger the container, the better the value. If you prefer to go in a different direction, consider a printer that uses low-cost ink bottles instead of cartridges, like the Epson SureColor T3170X.
Everyone knows what it’s like to try to print something, see that your job is stalled in the queue, and troubleshoot the issue only to end up scratching your head when none of the easy fixes work.
The best printers on the market today are self-correcting and can identify these kinds of issues and automatically remedy them before they knock your machine offline. On top of that, technicians can manage printers remotely via a web portal to help ensure that your distributed team’s printers are all working as they should.
As you start narrowing down your options, be sure to look for flexible solutions that have their own fleet management solutions and/or are compatible with third-party fleet management services.
By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your fingers on the pulse of all the printers in your ecosystem and can stay on top of things like output rates, ink levels, printer statuses, errors, and more.
Choosing a printer is a major decision
Printing plays a critical role in the success of every architectural and engineering firm. That being the case, organizations need to do their due diligence to ensure they’re investing in the perfect printer for their unique requirements.
We get it. Buying a printer is a major decision. To make yours a bit easier, we put together a buyer’s guide that outlines some of the most important things to keep in mind as you narrow down your choices. You can learn more about the buyer’s guide here, or visit Epson.com/surecolor-t-series-plotters