Wide Format Printers 101: An All-In-One Guide

Have you ever wondered how bulletins, newspapers, and posters are produced? Back in the day, publishing houses used printing presses—traditional printers that mechanically press ink on a surface. When these were phased out due to technological evolution, wide format printers took over, and the rest was history.

A wide format printer is one of the most useful products that printing companies have in their offices. Curious to learn more about this type of printer? Dive deeper into how a wide format printer works by reading this article!

What Is a Wide Format Printer?

Wide format printers function like regular printers but only accommodate sizes ranging from 16 to 60 inches, opening up endless possibilities for a variety of print media.

What Types of Materials Do Wide Format Printers Use?

A wide format printer offers versatility and flexibility because it functions with various materials, such as the following:

  • Paper;
  • PVC vinyl;
  • Self-adhesive vinyl;
  • Fabric;
  • Metal;
  • Glass;
  • Wood;
  • Foam boards;
  • Corrugated plastics;
  • And more!

5 Forms of Wide Format Printing

If office printers come in inkjet and laser types, wide format printers in Canada have the following configurations:

1. Aqueous Inkjet

Aqueous inkjet wide format printers use water-based ink, a mixture of dye or pigment and water, to produce colours. This printing style is commonly used in offices because of its affordable price and sustainability. When it comes to production, an aqueous inkjet printer delivers high-resolution photographs and graphics.

The only disadvantage to this wide format printer configuration is that its printed materials can fade over time. If you plan to print using water-based ink, consider lamination since this can preserve the quality of your prints.

A woman prepares an aqueous inkjet wide format printer for printing

2. Solvent

Solvent printing is your best bet if you need printed materials to display outdoors. The quality of a solvent wide format printer is weatherproof, meaning it can withstand heat, water, and human contact. All billboards, banners, and outdoor advertisements are typical examples of solvent printing.

While solvent wide format printers offer durable prints, these machines produce hazardous fumes whenever you use them. It’s recommended to place this type of printer indoors with ample ventilation to prevent negative effects.

3. Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation transfers dye or ink to print material. The printer heats the ink through sublimation, turning it into its gas form. Upon contact with the material, the desired full image appears and solidifies on the medium. Wide format printers with this printing style are great for clients who need clothing, dinnerware, and customized banners. Its quick-drying feature allows you to produce multiple prints in one batch.

4. UV-Based

Some wide format printers also leverage UV technology. This style uses an ultraviolet light that heats and cures the ink, solidifying the print quickly. The popularity of these types of devices continue to spike due to their affordability and the improved quality of printing.

Compared to aqueous inkjet wide format printers, UV-based ones are superior since they withstand weather effects, eliminating the need for lamination. With this type of wide format printer, you can count on it that your banners, tarpaulins, and other printed media will stand the test of time.

5. Latex

Latex wide format printers are an alternative to solvent printing. The former is a great choice for outdoor print materials and produces less fumes than the latter. This method uses water-based inks like resin and latex. But compared to its predecessor, it can’t produce long-lasting outdoor graphics because it won’t be able to withstand high temperatures.

What Is a Wide Format Printer Used For?

Wide format printers enable you to unleash your imagination because you can use them to produce a wide variety of materials. Let’s summarize what these printers are used for:

1. Marketing and Advertising Purposes

Traditional marketing and advertising methods come to life thanks to wide format printers. These machines can produce banners, billboards, and anything of a grand scale to attract potential customers. You’ll commonly find these printed media in the following places:

  • Trade shows;
  • Public and private events;
  • Grand openings for businesses; and
  • Retail spaces.

With wide format printers, it’s easier for companies to target their consumers. Displaying large visual media on walls, ceilings, and other fixtures quickly captures attention and increases brand awareness.

A large billboard

2. Clothing Production

Clothing production companies often invest in wide format printers since these machines easily attach texts and images onto fabric. It makes producing unique merchandise in large volumes and accommodating consumers’ design preferences easier than ever.

3. Architectural Prints

Another use of wide format printers is for the production of blueprints, floor plans, and maps for architectural and engineering firms. Having a wide format printer in the office increases productivity since it allows employees to print necessary materials quickly.

Invest in a Top-Tier Printer Now!

What is a wide format printer? It’s something you need to improve your business! Adding one to your office can increase creativity, workflow efficiency, and productivity—which are all necessary elements of a successful company.

Dedicated to providing next-level office solutions, Integr8 offers the best wide format printers in Canada.

Chat with us today to learn more about how our products can propel your business forward.

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