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Amplify AEC Projects: The Game-Changing Advantages of Large Format Printers

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is no stranger to the advantages of using large format printers. From cost savings to increased efficiency, these machines have revolutionised how AEC professionals approach their projects. With their versatility and recent security enhancements, it's clear why large format printers are so popular in this field. In this blog post, we will explore all the ways that utilising a large format printer can benefit an AEC business - from cost savings to protecting your business! Let's take a closer look at the advantages of using large format printers in the AEC industry today!


Table of Contents:

Cost Savings


Large format printers are a great cost-saving solution for AEC companies. By investing in one of these machines, businesses can reduce the need to outsource printing services to a print shop or print vendor. These high costs can add up quickly and include shipping, handling, and extra turnaround time. Usually, large format printers require very little ink to produce CAD drawing content as they are mostly printing lines, making them more economical in the long run. Furthermore, some models feature high-yield cartridges that produce more prints per cartridge compared to standard ones - this means fewer replacements are needed and ultimately leads to lower expenses overall.


Some large format printers come with dual roll-feeds which allow users to load two rolls of production-length bond paper, so when one roll is finished it will automatically load the next roll. This is especially useful for large print jobs that would otherwise require frequent paper changes. Additionally, if a user wishes to load a different type or width of media in the second feed, they can do so. This can eliminate the need to keep manually unloading and reloading different media, saving time and frustration.


Another way large format printers help businesses save money is by reducing turnaround times on projects due to their fast speeds and efficient workflow capabilities. Some models offer features such as built-in print stacking which collates print jobs sent by each user and keeps drawings neat and tidy. This is great for production environments with many users working on large projects or multiple jobs at once. Some modern large format printers come equipped with advanced software that streamlines processes like working with multi-page PDF documents, print layouts, and colour management so that tasks can be completed faster while still maintaining quality results every time.


The cost savings associated with using wide format printers in the AEC industry are significant, allowing for increased profits and decreased expenses. Moving forward, let's explore how these printers can also help increase efficiency.


Efficiency


Large format printers are popular in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries due to their ability to quickly produce large volumes of prints. This helps companies save time and money while increasing productivity. Modern large format printers can print up to 4 large format prints per minute, allowing AEC professionals to get their projects done faster than ever before.


Connectivity is another key benefit offered by modern large format printers as they allow busy professionals to print from virtually any location to the large format device, using their mobile phone or tablet. This greatly speeds up the overall project workflow and makes it easier for teams who are working on the go.


Large format printers allow multiple users to send print files at once, using features like queuing and nesting. This helps speed up workflow by allowing a range of print jobs to come through at once while collating everything at the printer. Most midrange or production units also keep a local record of the files on the printer’s hard drive for easy reprinting, without the need to send the print file again from a workstation across a busy network.


Overall, modern large format printers offer numerous benefits that make them an invaluable tool for AEC professionals looking to increase efficiency while saving both time and money in the long run.


Security for Large Format Printers in AEC


The AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry is not just about creating visionary structures and spaces; it also involves a massive amount of data and documentation. With the digitisation of these processes, security becomes paramount. And while our attention often rests on computers and servers, printing and imaging devices remain overlooked areas of concern. Let's dive into the security measures essential for large format printers.


1. Recognise Hidden Risks:

While computers generally benefit from stringent IT security protocols, printing and imaging devices might be bypassed. Leaving these devices unsecured could potentially make your entire network susceptible to cyber-attacks.


2. The High Price of Complacency:

A security breach due to unsecured printing and imaging could have multiple consequences. Beyond the immediate concerns like identity theft and leaked confidential information, your brand could suffer irreparable damage in terms of reputation. Plus, legal and regulatory non-compliance could result in significant financial penalties.


3. Identifying Vulnerabilities in Imaging and Printing:

A holistic approach to printer security starts with understanding potential vulnerabilities. Here are some key points of concern:


Device Protection:


Control Panel: Unauthorised users might exploit device settings.

Default Password: Basic factory-set passwords are prone to breaches.

BIOS and Firmware: A compromised firmware opens up the device, and consequently the network, to potential threats.

Data Protection:

Storage Media: Printers often store sensitive data that can be targeted.

Capture: Unsecured MFPs (Multifunction Printers) could be misused to distribute scans.

Output Tray: Documents left unattended can be accessed by unauthorised individuals.


Environment Protection:

Management: Not identifying security lapses can put data in danger.

Network: Data transmission between device and network could be intercepted.

Ports and Protocols: Unprotected ports, be it USB or network, and certain protocols might jeopardize device security.


Read more about how HP DesignJet has built-in measures to protect your business:

DesignJet-Defend Your Network
.pdf
Download PDF • 6.39MB

Surprisingly, a whopping 78% of companies do not regularly monitor their printers for security threats, presenting a broad avenue for potential risks.


4. HP’s Solutions for a Secure Printing Environment:

HP offers a suite of solutions designed to counter these vulnerabilities:


HP Secure Boot: Ensures the integrity of the code during every boot cycle, offering a robust first line of defence.

Whitelisting: Verifies the authenticity of firmware during startup, and any deviation leads to an immediate shutdown with notifications sent to IT.

HP Connection Inspector: Monitors network connections, identifies anomalies, and acts promptly to mitigate risks.

HP Trusted Platform Module (TPM): This enhances the protection of encrypted data stored on the device.

Unique Admin Password: A default unique password ensures that every printer is shielded right out of the box.

LDAP/Kerberos User Authentication: This syncs with the company directory, permitting only authorized access.

Role-Based Access Control: Admins can define roles and restrict user access to sensitive settings, ensuring granular security control.

Security Event Logging: With detailed logs, any malicious threat is quickly identified and mitigated.


In the vast digital landscape of the AEC industry, every device becomes a potential point of vulnerability. Large format printers, given their capacity and capability, especially need rigorous security measures. By recognizing the threats and addressing them proactively with solutions like those offered by HP, we can ensure a secure, efficient, and streamlined workflow.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the advantages of using large format printers in the AEC industry are clear. From cost savings to increased efficiency and security, these machines can provide a range of benefits for businesses looking to streamline their workflow and maximize productivity. It's easy to see why large format printers have become such an integral part of many AEC operations. By investing in one of these powerful tools, you can ensure your business is well-equipped for success now and in the future.

Are you looking for a reliable and cost-effective solution to your large format printing needs? Look no further than Graficomp! Our wide range of printers, plotters, consumables and software are designed specifically for the AEC industry. We offer fast delivery times, competitive pricing and excellent customer service – so don’t delay any longer; get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you save time and money on all your large format printing requirements!

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