Canon Wide Format Guide
Canon imagePROGRAF large-format printers and multi-function printers are at the forefront of the large-format equipment industry. Specialized customer solutions and applications range from fine art and photography to production printing, and from technical documents to general purpose poster making.
Learn more about the complete product offering from Canon Print Systems. Discover how a new Canon plotter printer or MFP solution can take your wide format printing to new heights.
Read along or just jump to the topic that interests you.
- Overview of Wide Format Printing
- CAD Printing and General Purpose
- Canon TM Series Printers & MFPs
- Canon TX Series Printers & MFPs
- Graphics, Sign, and Poster Printing
- Canon PRO S-Series for Posters & Signs
- Photo and Fine Art Printing
- Canon PRO Series
- Canon Software
Overview of Wide Format Printing
Large format printing is usually generalized as anything printed over 24-inches wide. Obviously, construction documents have a strong connection to wide prints, but many other types of companies and organizations utilize them as well. Retail business print POS signs, hospitals make information banners, and schools, of all kinds, produce classroom posters.
Plus, given advancements in technology and lower acquisition costs, printing big documents is both easier and more approachable than ever. This has certainly grown the influence of large format equipment in other industries, but besides print shops, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) remain a staple user of inkjet machines.
CAD Printing and General Purpose
Construction costs are on the rise - labor and material costs have been increasing close to 3.5 % a year. This means that companies need to find ways to make up for those rising costs, whether it’s looking for cheaper material vendors or letting some employees go. Therefore, it’s important to look at the areas where you can save without losing the integrity of the project.
Workflows and processes in AEC have changed significantly over the years. In the past, plans were printed and distributed by print shops to construction companies. Now, more and more, plans are shared electronically through email or online plan rooms. This shift has led contractors needing an efficient way to print their plan files for themselves instead of relying on outside resources. Although there is a growing motivation to transition to a paperless workflow, printing is still a necessity and AEC firms continue to need a holistic solution for both printing and scanning large format plans.
Surprisingly, it is still common practice for subcontractors to “out-source” their wide-format printing. While there are some larger printing companies that can provide services at a lower rate, often many subcontractors will utilize the “walk-in” services of a local printing provider. These types of companies provide great services, but at very inflated rates. Simply put, contractors pay for the convenience of these locations and not the quality of the work. Depending on the volume of activity, it only take a few trips to the print shop to justify the investment of a new plotter or MFP.
CAD Plotting in Color – A Growing Need
Traditionally, CAD and construction drawings have been sparse, 2D monochrome images that cover approximately 5% of the page. If your company still relies on those types of drawings, then a monochrome printer may work just fine for you. Unfortunately though, the options for a true black/white device are diminishing. At this time, the only remaining monochrome options are traditional toner-based systems like the the Oce PlotWave Series.
However, advancements in technology are redefining the way firms approach the design-build process. BIM workflows through Revit and Navisworks is changing the way people work in AEC. With BIM, the entire project can be built virtually from beginning to end. With all this new data injected into the workflow, color printing is becoming vital for better communication. So, if you use BIM in your workflows, a color plotter would be a good asset for printing color data.
Canon TM Series Plotters & MFPs - Entry-Level CAD Printing & General Use
The TM Series is a good launching point for small office looking to acquire a wide format device. It relatively small in comparison to other competitor models, easy to use and is redefining what large-format printer are capable of doing.
The TM-300 or TM-305 inkjet roll printer is not only ideal for printing technical documents, CAD drawings and GIS maps, but also posters, signage and displays. One of the new advancements of this series of printers is the incorporation of Canon’s LUCIA TD water resistant pigment ink. Built with Canon developed technologies the TM-Series has a 5-color LUCIA TD pigment ink set, the latest PF-06 print head, L-COA PRO image processor, along with a clear, intuitive operation panel and is nearly 60% quieter than previous models.
It is also now common for companies to need scanning capabilities for digitizing existing physical copies in addition to plotting files. Rather that having to purchase a separate third party scanner, Canon offers several multifunction printer (MFP) configurations that include both the plotter printer and large format scanner.
The TM-series Scan-To-Copy/File/Share system is Canon’s entry-level family of devises designed to provide fast, high-quality, large format image capture-to-output. More than just the sum of its parts, it is the versatility of the product that helps make it stand out. This multi-component system gives the user the opportunity to be more productive by being able to print and scan at the same time. The open architecture of the computer can be used to load additional programs, among other things. The printer's ability to print on a wide variety of media lends itself to uses in many departments and applications as well.
TM-Series Plotter Printer Models:
- TM-200: 24-inch printer
- TM-300: 36-inch printer (no internal Hard Drive)
- TM-305: 36-inch printer (internal 500 GB Hard Drive)
TM-Series MFP models
- TM-200 MFP L24Lei: 24-inch printer with simple L24Lei scanner
- TM-300 MFP L36Lei: 36-inch printer with simple L36Lei scanner
- TM-300 MFP T36: 36-inch printer with advanced T36 scanner and touchscreen controller PC
- TM-305 MFP T36: 36-inch printer with advanced T36 scanner and touchscreen controller PC
TAVCO Tip: Though the TM-300 and TM-305 models appear to be very similar, there are several distinct differences. The TM-305 includes the internal 500GB Hard Drive which greatly enhances the printing performance of the machine. Plus, the HDD greatly expands the reporting capabilities of the free Accounting software. The TM-305 will keep a record of the last 500 print jobs, while the non-HDD version only keeps a record of the last 10 prints.
Also, the TM-305 boasts a USB port for printing/scanning directly to a USB Thumb Drive. Regarding print stacking, the TM-305 offers the latest version of the stacking tray which will allow you to print up to 100 sheets and have them stacked flat for easy retrieval.
Please note that the TM-300 does not offer ANY of these features, so if you are in the market for this type of solution, the TM-305 provides a lot more value for the money and is frankly a better buy.
Canon TX Series Plotters & MFPs - Professional Workgroup CAD, GIS, & Mapping
When more performance is required, especially in professional workgroup settings, the TX-Series is the best solution. Developed to expand the production aqueous inkjet technical documents market, the imagePROGRAF TX-Series Large-format printers are equipped to satisfy the many diverse needs of architects, engineers, construction, GIS and other professionals.
With speeds as fast as 3D sized drawings a minute, stacking of up to 100 sheets, wireless printing capability, automatic roll loading and an optional Multifunction Roll Unit, the Canon TX printer offers greater productivity, usability, and document access control sought in the CAD industry.
Built for high productivity and increased flexibility, this stacker can stack up to 100 sheets of documents of mixed sizes, including ARCH C, ARCH D, or ARCH E/E1sizes. The variety of configurations that the TX Stacker can be positioned into helps to make prints easily accessible to pick up for on-the-go printing. When not in use, the TX Stacker can be folded up to conserve space.
Optional 2nd Roll Unit
The optional Multifunction Roll System is a versatile media handling solution system that enables either a second roll of media to be loaded on the printer, or can be configured as a bi-directional media take-up unit. The optional second roll unit allows for the instant switching between different media types or the use of two rolls of the same paper for up to 3900 sq. ft. of printing of large, consecutive runs. As a take-up unit the operator can choose to use this option to rewind longer printouts, with the print surface on the outside or on the inside of the roll.
LUCIA TD Pigment Ink Set
The TX-3000 features an all new 5-color TD pigment ink set. This ink was formulated to produce fine lines and sharp text on both inkjet and non-inkjet paper. Combine this pigment ink with water resistant media and you have a printed drawing that can withstand the outdoor conditions of a construction site. Available in 160 ml, 330 ml, and 700 ml ink tanks1, you have the ability to purchase a combination of ink sizes based on your printing volume. 970 ml ships standard with the TX-3000.
PF-06 Print Head
The newly designed 6-channel PF-06 Print Head is engineered to work with the printer’s high-speed carriage and high-frequency ink ejection to help facilitate fast printing. This printer boasts Canon's print-head technology that lays down ink with outstanding speed and accuracy. The PF-06 print head incorporates a nozzle orifice shape to help minimize mist spray, producing clean lines and text. The high-precision, high-density print head, with a total of 15,360 nozzles, lays down 5 picoliter-size ink droplets that help produce sharp detail and excellent image quality. The result is consistently accurate 2400 x 1200 dpi output (max.) with fine lines that are accurate to ±0.10% and as thin as 0.02mm.
TX-Series Plotter Printer Models:
TX-3000: 36-inch printer
TX-4000: 44-inch printer
TX-Series MFP models
TX-3000 MFP T36: 36-inch printer with advanced T36 scanner and touchscreen controller PC
TX-4000 MFP T36: 36-inch printer with advanced T36 scanner and touchscreen controller PC
Graphics, Sign, & Poster Printing
It is common knowledge that visual communication is one of the most successful methods of conveying ideas. In fact, research indicates that the use of visual aids typically increases retention of the presented material six times more than when the information is only provided verbally. Access to this type of technology is readily accessible with a Canon PRO-Series printer. The 8-color and 12-color models can handle the largest, most complex image files and print on an incredible range of media options. So, any business or organization can benefit from the ability to quickly and easily create posters on demand. Here are few examples.
GIS and Mapping
Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, is a computer system that allows you visualize all kinds of large, quantitative data. That is why GIS data is typically displayed on maps. This technology is commonly associated with engineering and other technical types, but GIS data can be found throughout all industries. Map printing is something that can be found in freight, retail, and social sciences. Any business can benefit from better visual signage.
- Spatial Analysis and Research
- Land Surveying
- Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
- Public Utility Management
- Urban Planning
- Landscape Architecture
Because GIS information usually revolves around big data, printing those files can be much more demanding than a typical CAD file; there is a lot more information to process. In fact, some GIS files can easily exceed the 100MB file size. Luckily, Canon PRO-Series printers are up to the task. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a GIS printing solution.
Printing Width of Plotter - Remember, you will be printing maps. The larger the better. Most companies will need at least a 44 inch printer to print 40x40 aerials. Plus, big maps are just plain cool and will have a "wow factor" that will get you remembered.
Processing Power - GIS files can be HUGE. Sometimes they are in the GB range. So, you better have the processing power to chew through those large files. Also, if you file contains layers, the processing power needed increases exponentially. Pro-Tip: It is a good idea to flatten layered files before printing using an application like Adobe or Bluebeam Revu. This will greatly speed up the pre-printing processing time and will reduce the chances of mistakes.
On board Hard Drive - Be sure your unit has one. This will help greatly with file spooling as well as help you relieve stress on your network resources. Many graphics printers or map plotters like the Canon PRO Series, include a large, onboard hard drive for print spooling.
RAM - Random Access Memory is important, but sometimes it can be a bit of "smoke and mirrors" spec. That is because some plotter manufacturers use virtual memory as a type of RAM. This is when the machine uses a portion of the hard disk to "swap" data as a way to manage memory. The upside to this is a huge amount of room for data, but it takes a severe speed penalty. As a rule, as long as you have a hard drive on the plotter, 256 MB of physical RAM is usually enough to get the job done.
Pigment Inks - Generally, GIS images tend to be displayed for a while. If you use a printer with regular dye based inks, then the image will begin to fade rather quickly. Dyes are affected by both ultraviolet light and oxygen. On the other hand, pigments are fade and scratch resistant. They will give you much better quality and durability.
Large-format signage can crucial to retail stores. Retail poster displays need to provide up-to-date information that reflects rapidly changing market initiatives such as new product information, special pricing, discount offers, and seasonal product specials. Be Dynamic - if you can print your own posters, be sure to change them often. This will give you an edge over other retail outlets that have to wait longer periods for marketing materials to be shipped from corporate.
- Posters for sales, rebates, and special offers
- Special pricing comparisons with competing stores - what a great way to beat the competition at their own marketing game
- Notices on new products and incoming shipments - if you keep your consumers informed, it will help earn their trust
- In-store maps and floor guides
- Evacuation route maps
- Employee of the month posters
- Posters for sales campaigns - be sure to include lots of pictures
- Point of Purchase displays
- Informational signs for employees
Hospital & Medical Posters
Whether it is a blood drive advertisement, surgery schedule, updated health notice, or the announcement of a newborn, there are many applications for a large-format printer in health care. Posters and displays effectively increase awareness of activities occurring throughout the hospital.
- Disease prevention and treatment illustrations
- Adhesive banner floor maps and evacuation routes
- Notices of upcoming lectures and seminars
- Decorations for children in pediatric wards
- Physician, nurse, and surgeon schedules
- Advertisements for charity events
- Eye charts
Education and Classroom Posters
For years, teachers have personally crafted posters for classes and events, which is a very time consuming process. Although grabbing some construction paper and a pair of scissors has been part of the teacher experience for decades, today’s educators simply don’t have the time to invest in a handmade poster. Outsourcing the printing is another option, but that can be expensive. Most schools have experienced some budget cuts, and printing budgets have been pummeled. Luckily, the Canon PRO Series offers a low cost of operation so that teachers and other educators can quickly produce jaw-dropping posters inexpensively.
- Different versions of printed materials to use for differentiated instruction
- Monthly calendars
- Job assignment charts
- Charts to track assessment results
- Response to intervention planners (RtI)
- Custom designed visual aids
- Uniquely created classroom size game boards
- Classroom photos and collages
- Campus maps and signs
- Anything else the staff can dream up…
Canon PRO S-Series - 8 Color Printers for Posters & Signs
The 8-color imagePROGRAF PRO S-Series printers are designed for the poster and signage markets. They exceed expectations for speed and color consistency in a large format production printer. The use of a new 1.28-inch wide integrated compact print head, LUCIA PRO ink set , a high-precision mechanical platform and the L-COA PRO high-speed image processing engine achieves a balance between high-speed printing and exceptional print quality.
The new PRO 4100S/6100S is specially designed for high volume graphic arts print service providers that need to maximize productivity and manage color across a fleet of printers across multiple locations.
These printers address the unique needs of print service providers and in-plant (CRD) operations competing in the graphic arts production printing market segment. They perform flawlessly as professional photo printers and canvas picture printers.
Anti-clogging technology: The PF-10 print-head with FINE technology generates fast print speeds and reduces the possibility of clogging.
New LUCIA PRO Ink: an all new ink formulation with a new microencapsulation process tht allows the inks to be even more densely laid down on the media, resulting in increased smoothness of the printed surface.
PRO S-Series Plotter Printer Models:
PRO-4100S: 44-inch printer
PRO-6100S: 60-inch printer
Photo and Fine Art Printing
Far beyond the standards of a typical user, photographers and other artist have very high demands, and the Canon PRO Series delivers. This type of printing is very dynamic as there are many media options available.
- Photo Papers and presentation matte
- Tyvek, Polypropylene, and Vinyl banners
- Aqueous inkjet fabric materials - Canvas, Poly, Satin Cloth, etc.
- Outdoor aqueous graphics
- Window graphics
Canon PRO Series
The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-Series printers are designed to exceed expectations for image quality and color consistency in a large format printer. The use of new a 1.28-inch wide 12-channel integrated compact print head, LUCIA PRO ink set plus Chroma Optimizer, a high-precision mechanical platform and the L-COA PRO high-speed image processing engine achieves a balance between high-speed printing and exceptional print quality.
These unique Canon innovations establish the foundation for an ultra-high quality photography imaging solution that is available only from Canon print solutions.
Powered by a Canon-to-Canon workflow that links images captured with an EOS Digital Camera and printed on an imagePROGRAF PRO Series printer, the result is a solution that delivers prints that capture the moment and emotion of the original image. The overwhelmingly high print quality produced by this input to output solution is called Crystal-fidelity.
PRO Series - Graphics and Fine Arts Printer Models
PRO-2100: 24-inch graphic arts photo printer
PRO-4100: 44-inch graphic arts photo printer
PRO-6100: 60-inch graphic arts photo printer
9 Reasons Why the Canon PRO-Series Printers Exceed Your Expectations for High-Quality Photo Printing.
#1 - The PRO Series Links Directly to a CANON EOS Camera
Photographers and digital professionals of all types are rejoicing over the fact that you can know directly link a digital camera directly to the PRO 2100, 4100, and 6100 printers. This new process is called Crystal-Fidelity and it ensures that the original structure, clarity, and texture of the original photos are maintained and printed with the highest level of accuracy and efficiency. At this time, Canon is the only company offering this functionality. Neither Epson nor HP have the ability to link directly with a digital camera.
#2 - Lucia PRO 11-Color Pigments Inks PLUS Chroma Optimizer
The LUCIA PRO 11-color ink system features and all new ink formulation with increased pigment density for richer color expression. Plus, the Chroma Optimizer works to further enhance the quality and ensure uniformity of light reflection. This unique ink system help enable a broad color gamut with finer details in dark areas and improved gloss uniformity. Bronzing and graininess are also greatly reduced with the new LUCIA PRO ink set.
#3 - The All-New PRO Print Head
Canon’s new PF-10 print head is a re-engineered marvel. This 1.28-inch-wide print head boasts 18,432 nozzles, 27 temperature sensors, and a non-firing nozzle direction system to help ensure control and precision for the highest level of print quality.
Also, clogged nozzles are a non-issue. This is because on detection of a clog, the sensors stop use on the malfunctioning nozzle and use another one to compensate for it. This helps reduce ink waste and the need to activate self-cleaning mode. To reduce the occurrence of clogs altogether, then sensors are temperature controlled so that the ink is maintained at the proper viscosity for optimal and consistent ink droplet placement.
#4 - Built-in Color Density Sensor and Color Calibration System
Color output is optimized by Canon’s built-in Color Density Sensor and calibration system. This capability is extremely important to professional photographers and graphic artists because it means that these printers can reproduce colors reliably and consistently, over time.
Canon’s Color-Calibration System is simpler and easier to use than competing systems. With Canon’s Color Density Sensor, a calibration for one media type is used to make adjustments on the other Canon supported media—unlike Epson and HP, who require the need for a spectrophotometer, and repeat calibrations for each type of media or print mode. Plus, color calibration on the Canon is fast---it can be done in just 10 minutes.
#5 - Innovative and Dynamic Media Handling
Canon’s refined media loading system enables a roll of media to be loaded into the printer without directly touching the media with your hands. This is extremely useful for glossy papers that are prone to show fingerprints and smudges. Simply set the media in the roll holder and lightly rotate the flange to initiate the leading edge of the media to be automatically fed into the assembly.
Additionally, the optional Multi-Function Roll (MFR) System can also be used as either a second media rolls or it can be configured as a bi-directional take-up unit.
#6 - Versatile Connectivity Options Out of the Box
Today’s art studios and design shops need various ways to share data and connect to peripheral devices. So, the Canon PRO Series offers a generous variety of connectivity options including:
- Wi-Fi enabled
- GB Network ready
- Print direct from a USB flash drive
- Canon’s Direct Print and Share solution
- USB 2.0 High-speed port
- This combination of connection options greatly simplifies installation and increases the degree of operational freedom.
#7 - Fleet-Wide Printer Management
Canon offers the ability to control color calibration and printer management for an entire fleet of imagePROGRAF printers in an Enterprise environment.
Device Management Console (DMC) enables users to monitor, control, and calibrate printers from one location.
#8 - Software and Workflow Solutions Included
Every Canon PRO Series printer ships with software and workflow solutions that further enhance productivity and the range of print applications that can be produced.
Print Studio PRO: Offers features that streamline your printing workflow
Media Configuration Tool: Helps manage print settings and media information
Quick Utility Tool Box: Provides quick access to printer management tools
Print Plug-in for Microsoft Office: Print in large format from Microsoft® Office Applications
PosterArtist Lite: Easily create posters from an archive of templates and clip art
Accounting Manager: Tracks ink and media usage and costs
#9 - Sub-Ink Tank System – Exclusively on Canon iPF Printers
The Sub-Ink Tank System acts as an internal reservoir for the wide format printer, functioning to remove all of the ink from the replaceable ink tanks for before changing them. This helps eliminate any wasted ink and decreasing your cost per print. The empty ink tanks can then be replaced on the fly, without stopping the printing and ruining the print. This sub-ink technology is only found on Canon iPF printers including the new PRO 2100, PRO 4100, and PRO 6100.
Canon supports their printers with several, mostly, free, powerful software applications that allow users to maximize the potential of the imagePROGRAF and PRO printers.
SMARTWORKS MFP SOFTWARE
SmartWorks MFP software gives you the tools you need to quickly and easily scan to print/file/share large format technical documents. With a simple to use interface and scan-it-once ability, this software allows for efficient batch scanning and helps create quality scanned images that can be produced in a short amount of time. You can scan to PDF, TIFF and JPEG file formats. SmartWorks MFP software is more efficient than ever before.
- Scan-to-Multipage PDF
- Scan lengths of up to 315" (26 ft) for PDF and JPEG files, and up to 598" (50 ft) for TIFF files
- Ability to add custom presets with one-touch retrieval for those often-used settings
- Image enhancements for white point adjust, black point adjust, sharpen, mirror, and invert
- Fine detail scan feature
- Enhanced administrator rights
- Full integration with Canon Direct Print & Share cloud software
- Files can be moved via a USB storage device
- Files can be shared over a network via the Ethernet card
The TM Unified Printer Driver
The TM Unified Printer Driver allows users to print to any imagePROGRAF TM Series large format inkjet, without the need to install additional drivers for each model. This helps make it a hassle-free installation process for multiple devices within the same environment.
The Windows® driver and Macintosh® driver incorporate simplified page setup options, one-touch borderless printing, expanded color settings, and much more into a printer driver that is intuitive and easy-to-operate while still giving even the most advanced users the tools needed to help stay productive.
Direct Print & Share
Sharing ideas has never been easier with Canon's Direct Print & Share software. Direct Print and Share is a cloud portal and batch printing solution that helps you to expand your printing workflow. This software allows you to upload documents to your cloud account using any WebDAV compliant cloud service, and print the uploaded documents from almost anywhere.
Easily share and/or print .cpfx PosterArtist, PDF, TIFF, JPEG, and HP-GL/2 files, through the user-friendly interface. In addition, you can set-up hot folders on your desktop by clicking the Shortcut Print feature. Then drag and drop the files you wish to print into these folders and the job will start automatically. You can even set up multiple folders, each with their own customized settings, allowing for multiple jobs to be run with ease. Thumbnail previews of multipage images and multipage printing of PDFs can also be done with this software.
Free Layout Plus
Nest, tile and create custom layouts before printing your files with this print utility. Use the plug-in feature to print directly from Microsoft Office programs.
Accounting Manager software serves as a powerful feature that can help users accurately manage printing costs and other information that is increasingly important in today's economic environment.
With the Accounting Manager software you can track how much ink and paper is being consumed when printing in large format jobs. Costs can be assigned to ink and paper to determine expenses based on your own "Cost of Goods". Each individual ink tank and each paper type can have its own cost associated to it. The user can also input a variable cost that will be added to the total of the print cost. The data is exportable to a .csv format for Microsoft Excel® so the data can be used for billing purposes. This feature will allow you to determine the cost of each print based on your actual cost.
Canon's included PosterArtist Lite poster creation software gives users the ability to quickly and easily create professional large format prints and now supports the creation of multilingual posters and tiling! Users simply follow the program's four (4) easy steps to create posters that can be used in applications such as office Presentations, Trade shows, Retail Signage, and much, much more. The PosterArtist QuickCopy* feature provides an easy solution for a CanoScan desktop scanner to be used as a copier, making letter-size flyers and documents into full-size posters with a touch of a button.
Device Management Console
This software allows users to continually monitor information such as the printer status and colors being used to print. It also allows printer administrators to centrally control multiple networked printers at once. This utility software displays the acquired printer information in a neat list for easy visibility.
Printer administrators can be notified via email when an error or warning occurs. No more hassles to get to an installation site of a printer to check on the amount of ink remaining. Printer administrators can now simply check the amount of consumables remaining for networked printers by operating DMC software from their own personal computer.