it may not be "new" anymore, but the HP 1055cm we have in our office is a VERY nice piece of work. It serves an office of 20 with no real conflicts at all - only some minor coordination when a big set needs to get plotted. With a 36" bed, D size 24x36" plots are DONE by the time I walk 20' back to the machine. We find the 'draft' setting to be adequate for most prints, but we use the normal mode for issuing CD's and the only time we need the 'best' setting is for full color high res images.
It is CMYK based inks, all in separate cartridges that the machine monitors and can change out in the middle of a print and resume without interruption. has been fairly maintenence free, but we have preventitive service every 3 months or so, and it has gummed up a few times, usually after a really heavy color plot load (4-5 full color presentation boards 30x42) with saturated colors on coated papers. I can usually get it working myself, and I'm by no means a mechanical genius...
it works great as a printer too, but like your current model, takes a little while longer to start printing, and can't que up both plots and prints at the same time.
rates about an 8 on a scale of 10 - there's got to be someting better that I haven't seen! I wasn't around when the machine was purchased, and I haven't checked prices yet, but I like it a lot and people say I have expensive taste...
It or course depends on your volume needs. We are a small 3 person office and plot anywhere frome 100-400 24x36 plots/month. On OSX, we have an HP 500 and the thing is an absolute dream. For us, plots are plenty quick, and quality is outstanding. We have a non-ps version. In lieu of postscript, we got the Hpgl/2 card and plot using plt. We can plot directly to the plotter (We maxed out the memory on it) or we can plot using a spool folder on our file server. More often than not, we plot suing the spool folder, using the server as the machine doing the legwork. We paid $3500 for everything including including card and memory. It is a 42" plotter.
Also, if you need to print from programs other than Plotmaker (printing is a diferent language than plotting), there is a unix cups driver out there on the net (free) that will allow you to print to the plotter from any other program.
jhutchison wrote: On OSX, we have an HP 500 and the thing is an absolute dream.
Do you have any problem with plotting multiple sets?
We have the HP 1050C and it refuses to plot more than one at a time. We get around this by just spooling the number we need one by one. This actually has an up side since it plots the sets collated, but it's a pain if I just want several copies of one or two sheets.
Well, that is an issue with using a spool folder. An easy fix is just to copy the plt's of set #1 and give the names of the plt's of set #2 a subset name such as -2, just before the suffix of ".plt".
It's not perfectly clean, but not too troublesome either.