How to Make Wide-Format Printing More Cost-Efficient

We collected four tips to eliminate unnecessary causes of the high costs of wide-format printing. Despite a detailed briefing of your employees, considering the draft mode for internally used printouts is only one way to reduce costs.

When we deal with wide-format printers, the sky is the limit: There is always room for improvement to get bigger and better, but this also includes getting more expensive. If you’re interested in wide-format printing or already using this technique in your company, there are different possibilities to cut the high costs. In the following, you’ll read about three examples to make wide-format printing less costly, but there are many other little aspects that – if changed – can have a huge impact on the production costs.

Tip #1: Go for Large Ink Cartridges or No Cartridges At All

It’s a common phenomenon that high amounts cost proportionally less than low amounts of almost anything. This is the case for entrance fees at theme parks or printed out flyers. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to ink cartridges, the large ones might be more costly when purchasing, but first of all, they outlast the smaller cartridges, and second of all, the price per millilitre is usually cheaper.

There are wide-format printers that don’t require cartridges at all, but that can simply be refilled with ink. Here, the price per millilitre is even more cost-efficient. This is especially worth contemplating when purchasing a new printer to cut costs in the long run.

Tip #2: Fighting Paper Waste with Previews

Did you ever print something big and colourful for an important customer and only afterwards realize that something went wrong with the format? This means the whole printout goes straight into the paper bin and not only ink is wasted, but also a lot of paper. Print previews can prevent those situations, because you can see what your project will look like on paper before hitting the print button.

Also it can cut costs and waste if employees monitor their printing order. If something goes wrong and the paper is lopsided, they still have time to stop the printing process and reduce the paper and ink that go to waste.

Tip #3: Opt for a Faster Printer

Fast printing means that there is more capacity for other projects and the whole workflow is sped up. The more a printer is used, the less it costs per item printed and it pays for itself much faster than common wide-format printers. It might even be worth the investment to switch from two or three slower printers to one fast device to eliminate, for example maintenance and energy costs for a higher number of devices.

Tip #4: The Draft Mode Exists for a Reason – Use it!

If you’d like to print out your work in progress for internal uses, you usually don’t need high-resolution or photo-quality settings. That’s what the draft mode is for. Some printers can even be set up to print in draft mode automatically, so that employees have to actively select the high resolution mode for final printouts. This can reduce the costs by 20 to 40 percent.

Of course, also a detailed briefing of your employees is essential to make them understand the impact their printing behaviour can have on the budget and also on the environment.

Which of the tips above do you find most useful? Do you have other ways to reduce the costs of wide-format printing?