Large Format Printers Introduction

Finding you the large format printer that best suits your needs – and your budget – may just be the single thing the team at Design Supply does better than anyone else in the country. How so? Because…

  • We simplify your search for printers – so you can specify the brand, the size, the price and your usage.
  • We give you access to all the leading brands (such as Hewlett Packard, Epson, and Canon) – and to a range of solvent printers.
  • We can help you choose the right size of printer (such as A1, A0, A2, A3).
  • We understand your world – be that Art, Photographic, Graphic or CAD/ Architectural
  • If you know exactly what you want, you can go straight to it and buy it online…
  • If you don’t know exactly what you want, and need a helping hand – we’re here at the end of the phone – to talk you through your best options.
  • If you can’t find the large format printer you want on this site, it’s probably not worth having!
  • And once you have bought your printer, we can help you get the very best from your machine – and open your eyes to the possibilities with large format. By talking to our Media and Supplies team.

Large Format Printer Technologies

  • Aqueous: thermal or Piezo inkjet printers using an ink known as aqueous or water-based. The term water base is a generally accepted misnomer. The pigment is held in a non-reactive carrier solution that is sometimes water and other times a substitute liquid, including a soy based liquid used by Kodak. Aqueous ink generally comes in two flavors, Dye and UV (alternatively known as pigment). Dye ink is high color, low UV-resistant variety that offers the widest color gamut. UV ink is generally duller in color but withstands fading from UV rays. Similar in general principle to desktop inkjet printers. Finished prints using dye inks must be laminated to protect them if they are to be used outdoors while prints using UV inks can be used outdoors un-laminated for a limited time. Various materials are available, including canvases, banners, metabolized plastic and cloth. Aqueous technology requires that all materials be properly coated to accept and hold the ink.
  • Solvent: this term is used to describe any ink that is not water-based. Piezo inkjet printers whose inks use petroleum or a petroleum by-product such as acetone as its carrier liquid. “Eco-solvent” inks usually contain glycol esters or glycol ether esters and are slower drying. The resulting prints are waterproof. May be used to print directly on uncoated vinyl and other media as well as ridged substrates such as Foam Board and PVC.
  • Dye sublimation: inks are diffused into the special print media to produce continuous-tone prints of photographic quality.
  • UV: Piezo inkjet printers whose inks are UV-curable (Dry when cured with UV light). The resulting prints are waterproof, embossed & vibrant. Any media material can be used in this technology, polymer made media are best. Ceramics, glass, metals, and woods are also used with printing with this technology.
  • Pen/plotter: a pen or pens are used to draw on the print substrate. Mainly used for producing CAD drawings. Generally being superseded by digital technologies such as Solvent, Aqueous, and UV.