Large Format Printing for Architectural Studios
The relevance of large format printing for architectural studios
High-quality printed material is vital to the work of architects. Without printed drawings, blueprints and floor plans, communication, interpretation and execution of architects’ ideas would be next to impossible.
Architects are involved in the planning and drawing of designs as well as overseeing their construction, which means working with teams outside of their profession – such as builders and engineers. Therefore, all the key parties in a project need to understand the architect’s ‘vision’, and accurate print documents play a crucial role in ensuring this.
The portability and accessibility of printed architectural documents, coupled with the fact that they exist independently of technology, also mean that print material is here to stay in the architectural sector.
Large format printing opportunities for architectural studios
As an architectural studio, you will typically have an ongoing need for large format printed documents. This applies at various stages of a project (from preparation and briefing through to tendering and construction itself).
If you’re currently managing your print requirements through a third-party, it may be time to consider investing in your own printing equipment.
Printing high-quality materials in-house has never been easier. With the right equipment, it can also create an opportunity to reduce costs and give you greater control and increased flexibility over your printing. For example, if you need some last-minute copies of a set of floor plans for a site meeting or suddenly need to make some unforeseen revisions, the technology is on-hand to make this possible!
Large format printing challenges for architectural studios
1) Time pressure
For architects, as with many other design professionals, printing time is a key consideration. Rather than looking for photograph-quality print with high-colour fidelity, architects tend to value highly accurate printing that can render blueprints or CAD drawings quickly.
The sector is increasingly being tasked with completing projects in shorter time-frames. This means it’s also under pressure to produce printed plans and drawings faster than ever. Having the technology to do so in-house, could be a decisive competitive advantage and an essential element in keeping to tight project deadlines and minimising delays.
Generally-speaking, architectural studios don’t want to spend large amounts on photography-quality colour inks for their printing needs. As they often have to print multiple versions of drawings to allow for client feedback and revisions, keeping costs such as these low is advantageous. Due to advances in technology, economic printing is now a viable option for architects using power-efficient, fast-printing digital printers with high-capacity cartridges for printing high volumes, for example.
Whilst perfect colour calibration is unlikely to be a key factor for most of the day-to-day printing in architects’ studios, precision and sharpness are essential. In-house digital printing allows for high-quality resolution. It also offers features like precision ink drop control, providing the perfect level of detail for most architectural projects.
Bringing large format printing in-house affords studios greater flexibility, particularly for urgent print jobs which can be carried out quickly. The ability to print on-demand in-house also enables architects to work in a more agile fashion. This is particularly true when it comes to making edits to documents and producing new versions. This avoids any additional inconvenient waiting time or charges that might exist with a third-party printing provider.
Benefits of digital printing for architectural studios
The digital printing industry is evolving at pace. Print quality is continuously improving, so much so that it now rivals that of analogue printers. Digital printing also offers the ability to simplify many of the processes involved in traditional printing. In the architectural sector, this means reduced set-up times, faster print timescales and easy edits.
Some of the main benefits of in-house digital printing for architectural studios include:
- Reduced set-up and faster turnaround times: productivity and printing timescales are improved, short runs and one-off printing become more cost-effective
- Improved flexibility: printing on-site offers the ability to update or edit material quickly and cost-efficiently, avoiding additional costs or delays. This can be a huge bonus in a client-focused sector like architecture, which is subject to frequent change requests. It also means that urgent printing requests can be easily fulfilled thereby reducing the potential for project delays.
- Costs: managing printing in-house should reduce the associated overheads and offer a more comprehensive overview of the ‘actual’ costs. With printing being an unavoidable expense for all architectural studios, being informed about and able to influence costs can be a real benefit. Studios can also channel cost savings from in-house printing into other key areas of the business.
- Small footprint: with today’s digital printers offering sleek styling and a small footprint, you needn’t worry about them dominating your studio or taking up valuable space
- Scalability: when printing in-house, you don’t need to worry about your third-party supplier being unable to keep up with demand. If your printing needs suddenly spike, the equipment is on-site and you won’t have to wait in a queue.
If you’re interested in learning more about how digital printing can support your architectural studio’s printing needs, please get in touch.