Cotswolds-based high-end domestic design practice Yiangou Architects has added an Epson Stylus Pro 9700 printer to its studio to enable production of A0 drawings and improve the quality of its presentation graphics.
Supplied and installed by Design Software Solutions, whose Vectorworks Training arm provides training and support for Yiangou Architects’ 30-seat installation of the eponymous 2D/3D CAD and BIM software, the 44-inch roll-fed printer offers resolutions of up to 1440 dpi, which coupled with Epson’s UltraChrome K3 ink set with Vivid Magenta, gives accurate, vivid and long-lasting prints.
Although it was mostly chosen by Yiangou Architects for its ability to print A0 production drawings, the Stylus Pro 9700 has found greater use in producing presentation and even decorative materials than originally anticipated.
Yiangou Architects’ IT Manager Daniel Vesma explains: “Although we’ve worked on many large projects, we had never been able to produce prints larger than A1 and we were at the physical limits of what could be done. The A0 capability of the Stylus Pro 9700 means that we can now produce entire floorplans at our usual 1:50 working scale, but the printer has also impressed us with its capabilities for presentation work – the vibrancy of the colors is amazing, the inks are great.”
As well as printing out 2D drawings and 3D renderings of work created in Vectorworks, the Stylus Pro 9700 has been used to produce interior décor panels as part of a large office move and redecoration project, with A0-sized photographic images being output onto mount-board and coated matt stock. Printing onto canvas has also been tested with excellent results.
The printer’s color quality has also come into play reproducing hand drawings. “There’s been a watershed point in the last few years,” reflects Daniel Vesma, “now everyone has CAD, the ability to produce good hand drawings and illustrations adds a legitimacy to the creative aspect of the work. We take pride in the visual quality of our work and have a carefully considered aesthetic for both color and monochrome drawings and images which the printer enables us to reproduce.”
The more technically-focused use of the Stylus Pro 9700 has more than met expectations too. Line work is ‘pin-sharp and beautiful’ according to Vesma and the ability to precisely reproduce different line weights is extremely valuable in the preparation of production drawings:
“The Epson’s ability with fine line weights is very impressive, the clearly-distinct lines avoid potential ambiguity in the production drawings between a structural opening and a joinery item, for example,” he explains.
As a result of this accuracy in line art reproduction, Yiangou Architects is now trialling the printing of production information in monochrome. Although color print would appear to offer the potential to carry more information, it is often the case that electronically produced drawings are either printed in mono by contractors, or photocopied, thus losing the distinctions between colors. Since clarity is essential for safety reasons as well as aesthetic ones, anything that improves the accuracy of interpretation of drawings on-site can only enhance the process as a whole.
“We have also noticed that the Stylus Pro 9700 prints mono using only the black ink, not all four process colors as other printers do, which improves accuracy and should save on ink usage too,” notes Vesma.