Architosh News Reports
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Architosh Seybold Report: Mac products for CAD/AEC - Part 2

14 Mar 2000

Architosh picks up where it left off with Seybold. Here in Part 2 we center on efforts on bringing you information related to hardware, particularly Hewlett-Packard. In Part 3, we cover web software items and miscellaneous software/hardware.

Hewlett-Packard Plotters, printers and other hardware/software

Hewlett-Packard Plotters for CAD and Graphics. Hewlett-Packard typically has a larger presence at Seybold everywhere and this year was no different. On the plotter front, HP was showing their new HP DesignJet 1050C and 1055CM wide-format plotters, items that have been on the market for about a year now. For any office that can afford them, these $10,000 plus plotters offer speeds four times as great as the HP DesignJet 650 - 755 series plotters, other common HP plotters used by AEC pros.

PosterJet RIP software was the hot item HP reps were talking about. This new software comes from Hewlett-Packard. PosterJet offers a quantum leap in you HP DesignJet plotter's print times, according to HP reps and our eyes. PosterJet RIP software uses special algorithms to control the print head and is able to calculate picture data line by line while sending in parallel print data, producing print times more than twice as fast (actually they say 60% faster). PosterJet works with all HP DesignJets.

HP reps told us that PosterJet was excellent at accelerating plot speeds for larger renderings on some of the most common HP plotters for architects, such as the HP DesignJet 750C, 755CM, 1050C, 1055CM and DesignJet 2000CP/2500CP. Their literature on the PosterJet software says:

"Firms which have previously used their DesignJet mainly in the CAD area can now productively process pictures and graphics too. Especially with HP models 750C/755CM and 1050C/1055CM, the DesignJet can output up to six times as many pictures and graphics in the same time. With greatly improved, streak-free print quality."

Technical Qualifications for PosterJet RIP software: The software is actually produced by DCS Software Limited. PosterJet was first created for the HP650C in 1994. The current release, version 5.6 is supported on Macintosh, Windows 95/98 and Windows NT. HP DesignJets supported in the current release are: HP450C, HP750C/755CM, HP1050C/1055CM, HP2000CP/2500CP, HP3000CP/3500CP. Additional printers include Epson 9000 and Kodak 4742 & 4760. PostJet works to create breakthrough speed increases across all platforms supported for CAD programs such as Autocad, 3D Studio, Strata, VectorWorks and others. PostJet supports ColorSync on the Macintosh with standard ICC profiles. Connect via TCP/IP, ECP Parallel, or USB on the Mac only. Supports standard Ethernet network, multi-user Macintosh printing.

HPDesignJet ColorPro CAD and DesignJet ColorPro GA are new midsize range color CAD printers offering Adobe PostScript 3. The ColorPro CAD offers only HP-GL/2 and HP PCL 3 as standard but has an option for PostScript 3. The ColorPro GA is directed at graphics professionals and cost US$1995, while the ColorPro CAD starts at US$1450 without the PostScript added. Both are networkable.

Adobe PressReady provides a low-cost solution for printing to inkjets from PostScript applications. At the Seybold show Adobe reps said a number of new low-cost ink jets would soon be supporting Adobe PressReady, providing new solutions for professionals looking for low-cost PostScript printing. If you run a PostScript CAD application on the Macintosh -- such as VectorWorks -- and are looking for a low-cost inkjet solution for running check plots or CAD mini sets the following printers are currently supported:

  • HP DeskJet 895C - [supports USB, AppleTalk w/optional HP JetDirect 300X P server]
  • HP DeskJet 1120C - which is not listed at HPs site and is superseded by the 1220C.
  • HP 2000C - [supports Ethernet on Mac-built-in p.server
  • HP DesignJet ColorPro GA - [supports Ethernet on Mac-built-in p.server]
  • Epson Color1200 - [supports USB on Mac and Windows, optional Ethernet p.server]
  • Epson Color1520 - [supports both serial and USB on Mac, optional Ethernet p. server]
  • Epson Color3000 - [onboard PS 2, supports serial, USB, optional Ethernet p. server]

Other printers supported, but smaller or less suitable for CAD are the Epson 800/850 and the Canon BJC-8500. Adobe says that they are expanding the range of printers for PressReady.

Tektronix {now a subsidiary of Xerox}

For firms looking for superior color laser printer technology the Tektronix line of network printers are regarded by some as an excellent choice. At the Seybold show, we looked at samples coming out of a Tektronix Phaser 850 that were amazing in their sharpest. The Phaser 780 also produced stunning examples at sizes of 11x17 inches.

One of the cool things about the Tektronix printers is that their processors are PowerPC RISC processors just like the family of RISC processors in the Power Macintosh line. Their lowest cost entry Phaser model 740L starts at US$1495. For fast networks the Phaser 850N supports 10/100BaseT ethernet and starts at US$2,495. All of the Tektronix Phaser printers feature networking support, Adobe PostScript 3 and PCL 5C, min. 133MHz PowerPC processors and ICC or Apple ColorSync profile color calibration support. To learn more, click here.

QMS : A member of the Minolta Group

QMS was also at Seybold this year as well, showing their full line of color laser printers. QMS printers support a variety of applications from business, graphic design departments to CAD. Their 330CX supports 11x17, 13x19, A4, A3 size sheets -- sizes good for reports, CAD mini sets and general graphics typical of the CAD/3D/AEC workspace.

One of QMS's top-of-the-line printers, their QMS 6100EN features 1200 x 1200 dpi, printing up to 13x19, 192 MB RAM (maximum 384), a standard internal hard disk, 200MHz processor, parallel/Ethernet/RS232C connectivity, and support for PDF as well as PostScript 2, PCL-6, HP-GL, and Line Printer. Print speeds of 24ppm B&W, 12ppm color. This and more for US$5,699.

Also at the show was Corporate Express: Imaging & Computer Graphic Supplies. This company featured a full catalog of their products and services, including extensive media for large format plotters and printers. Specific to AEC, their catalog has extensive supplies for plotters: HP DesignJet media and ink supplies, as well as the same for other manufacturers like Epson, Encad, Kodak, and others.

For inkjets and laser printers, the cover all media supplies and accessories for Apple, HP, Epson, Tektronix, Xerox, Canon, Panasonic, IBM, Brother, Okidata, Lexmark, QMS, NEC, Digital, Ricoh, Konica, Minolta, and others.

In the computer technology media department, Corporate Express carries iMation SuperDisks, CD-R, CD-RW, and tape drive diskettes. Iomega's ZIP diskettes (media) are also carried, offering a full range of all of their products, including Bernoulli disks. DVD-R disks and other optical media are carried in a variety of brands, from Verbatim to Sony.

For more information on Corporate Express Imaging, call 1-800-828-9949.

> Part 3

< Part 1

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