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Printers come in many forms. There are large-format printers for industrial printing that are so big that it can take up the space of an entire room. There are also mini-printers for printing snapshots that are so small that it can fit in the palm of your hand. Wide-format printers, on the other hand, are somewhere in between.
What are wide-format printers? The term “wide-format printer” is a general term for any printer that can print any medium that is 17 inches to a hundred inches wide. Any printer that can work with media wider than 100 inches is called a super-wide printer. Wide format printers use many different technologies to create output, but inkjet printing is the one more commonly used among printer service providers.
The Uses of Wide-Format Printers
At the moment, wide-format printing is more of a commercial rather than a consumer venture so it is rare to find a wide-format printer in a home. You are more likely to find these printers in a printing press, a printing shop, in art and design studios, and in engineering and architectural firms. Still, there are trends in the printing industry that there is a growing demand for wide-format printers for home use as well.
These big printers can be used for printing almost anything. Their more common uses include printing banners and signage both for indoors and outdoors, as well as CAD drawings used by architects and engineers. They are also used for creating military maps, posters, large photographs and gilcée art.
But these are just the common uses for wide-format printers. Lately, there are new wide-format, flat-bed printers that allow a user to print on non-traditional media such as wood, ceramic tiles and metal. This development is certainly opening up new opportunities in the world of printing.
The Advantages of Wide-Format Printers
What makes wide-format printers a cut above the traditional printing methods such as offset printing or silk screen printing? There are many advantages that printer service providers can see with wide-format printing, and among these is the fact that these printers can print on demand rather than by bulk. This can save you a lot of money and prevent waste in supplies if you only need a few copies of a printout rather than an entire bulk of it.
This works somewhat the opposite of offset printing. With offset printing, you save more money by having more printouts created. That is because the cost in offset printing lies more in preparing the printers rather than in the actual printing.
Wide-format printing is also viewed as more efficient. That is because wide-format printers work just like desktop printers. You open the document or image to be printed using computer software, click print and it will run on the printer. Other printing processes take more steps and involve more manpower.
Another advantage of wide-format printing is image quality. Many traditional printing presses cannot produce images of startlingly vivid colors, sharp lines and precise details, but it is something that you can easily have with a wide-format printer.

This Article is written by John C Arkin.