May 18, 2009
HP Printers Prove That Paper Still Rules in MCAD
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
| by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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Rumors of the so-called “paperless office” have been circulating for years, but is it any closer to reality today than it was a decade ago? That’s one of the questions I posed recently to Marc Jongen, the worldwide large format product manager for Hewlett-Packard (HP) with regard to the launch of a couple of new series of multi-function printers. In this same discussion, I asked him to share how the new printers are optimized for mechanical design and engineering professionals.
Printers have really grown to become multi-function devices, as well as increase capabilities in terms of throughput and computational processing power. As the demands on printers have become greater, so have their capabilities and HP has led the way on many fronts that benefit the MCAD market.
On March 31st, HP launched two families of printers that targeted manufacturing professionals. Specifically, the two families of printers, the HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP (optimizes line quality) and HD MFP (optimizes photo quality) and the HP Designjet 4020/4520 Printer series, were significant upgrades to existing HP’s offerings for the design and engineering markets, but showcasing new functionality and versatility.
Although both are positioned for the MCAD market, the primary differentiator for the two series comes down to the size of the workgroups they serve, as well as productivity needs (complexity of 3D model files), and the quality of print output required (black and white line drawings with gray-filled areas versus photorealistic renderings with full color). Generally, Jongen said that the manufacturing market as a whole is demanding more versatility, and the T1120 series is better suited for small/medium-sized companies, while the 4020/4520 series is better suited for larger workgroups and companies and their higher production needs. He also said that both series there is a definite
trend toward higher quality color output that parallels the greater presence of 3D modeling as input.
However, both series have more memory and processing capabilities than their predecessors, and, are therefore, more IT oriented, which can be a good thing for organizations, regardless of size.
HP Designjet T1120 Printer Series
Built on HP Designjet T1100 Printer series technology, the HP Designjet T1120 Printer series offers the same reliability and professional quality with an enhanced in-printer processing architecture and job management tools to improve productivity.
Available in 24- and 44-inch models and with embedded Adobe PostScript, the HP Designjet T1120 Printers deliver professional print quality, fast print and processing speeds, and manageability features that enable increased user productivity and efficiency for medium to large workgroups. Additionally, users can print full projects up to three times faster than with previous HP Designjet models, printing an A1/D page in about 35 seconds.
Featuring new software solutions, including the Serif PosterDesigner Pro for HP, which allows users to develop high-quality posters with an intuitive interface, professionally designed templates and a wide range of tools; HP Instant Printing Utility 2.0, that enables preview and single-click batch printing of HP-GL/2, Adobe PDF and Microsoft PowerPoint files; and the HP Accounting Excel Tool 2.0, that enables users to remotely view a report of advanced usage tracking information for the printer, the HP Designjet T1120 Printer series boosts productivity.
Key features and benefits of the HP Designjet T1120 Printer series include:
Line accuracy to 0.1 percent and 0.0423-mm minimum line width
Achieves a wide range of vivid colors produced by Original HP Vivera inks. With the addition of gray ink in the HP three-black ink set, the printing system produces more accurate color and true, neutral gray for smooth area fills, more depth and subtle contrasts
Consistent, professional prints with more than 35 Original HP media substrates, including new HP Recycled Bond Paper and HP Cockle-free Coated Papers – designed together with HP Vivera inks for fast dry time and smudge-resistance on a range of HP media
New Serif PosterDesigner Pro for HP, an optional software solution with an intuitive interface, professionally designed templates and a wide range of tools and effects to help users develop posters that promote their business and attract new customers
Enhanced in-printer processing architecture, including an 80-gigabyte (GB) hard disk drive, 320 MB or 384 MB of memory, and a faster processor, gives users the flexibility to process files, no matter the size or complexity, quickly and efficiently
Increased productivity with the HP Embedded Web Server, that lets users remotely manage printer, ink, and media usage,
HP Accounting Excel Tool 2.0 enables users to remotely create and view reports of the advanced usage tracking information of the printer, including supplies, media, user information, account information and the types of print jobs, making it easy for administrators to invoice or cross-charge departments, projects or clients at periodic intervals for the correct amount of printer usage
The HP Designjet T1120 Printer Series is PC and Mac compatible and is compatible with the CAD applications, such as AutoCAD and products from Dassault Systèmes.
Pricing for the HP Designjet T1120 series printers is:
HP Designjet T1120 SD-MFP U.S. MSRP $16,495
HP Designjet T1120 HD-MFP U.S. MSRP $21,495
HP Designjet 4020/4520 Printer Series
The 4020/4520 Printer Series is designed for the larger workgroups. This family of printers also comes in a multifunctional version that has been updated, and includes high quality output, enhanced security features and fast connectivity and management tools . According to Jongen, “The common factor across all the different products is user productivity that has been improved mainly in the processing power of the printer. When files are more complex, for example, in the 3D MCAD market, the processing power of the printers has been increased, which means there is more memory and more hard disk space available, and also a faster processor. This all contributes to a higher level of
The series includes a variety of printer options designed for large departments and workgroups that print continuously in centralized production environments, including the HP Designjet 4020 and 4020ps Printers and the HP Designjet 4520, 4520ps and 4520 HD-MFP.
The HP Designjet 4020/4520 Printer series provides a low cost per copy and non-stop, unattended printing capabilities with HP Double Swath technology, an enhanced in-printer processing architecture with a 160-GB hard disk and up to 1,120 MB of memory, and large 775-ml black and 400-ml color Original HP ink cartridges. Featuring an embedded Adobe PostScript 3 raster image processor (RIP), the HP Designjet 4020ps/4520ps Printers provide built-in Adobe PDF support for simultaneous processing and printing.
The HP Designjet 4520 Printer series combines a flexible media input capacity with two media rolls and automatic roll switching, reliable high-capacity HP ink cartridges and a high printing resolution, enabling users to increase print capacity and efficiency without compromising quality. Additionally, the HP Designjet 4520 HD-MFP features high-performance scanning and copying capabilities that make it a color production system.
The fast processing capability of having computer processing power within the printer behaves differently than optimized scan compression which is a feature of many MFP wide format printers. HP Double Swatch technology makes it possible for the printer to produce up to 100 A1/D prints per hour without affecting image quality, accuracy. In-printer processing, plus a 160 GB hard drive and 1,120 MB of memory makes this suitable for busy workgroups that have continuous print jobs ongoing in centralized production environments.
All of the multi-function printers include a touch screen, making it easy for everyone in an office to use. Users can select copying or scanning and the piece of media to be managed, the scanner then recognizes the size of the paper and automatically copies it.
Other key features and benefits of the HP Designjet 4020/4520 Printer include:
SCP Reprocontrol for HP that lets production operators automate, standardize, and manage color consistently during the production workflow; and the HP Accounting Excel Tool 2.0, which enables them to generate and view advanced usage tracking reports remotely. This allows them to administrate workflow such as supplies, media, usage information, account information, and types of print jobs.
Performs unattended printing with 775-ml black and 400-ml color Original HP ink cartridges; HP ink Value Packs and three-ink Cartridge Multipacks offer added savings and convenience
Increased productivity with the HP Instant Printing Utility 2.0 that enables preview and single-click batch printing of HP-GL/2, Adobe PDF and Microsoft PowerPoint files
Advanced features, such as HP Web Jetadmin, enhanced in-printer processing with a 160-GB hard drive and up to 1,120 MB of memory, ensure consistent results and unattended operation
HP Embedded Web Server secures the printing environment among authorized workgroups through advanced access control, plus the ability to lock front-panel access and disable I/O options
Secure Disk Erase, which removes information in a secure manner, safeguarding assets from unauthorized access
Patented HP inks and printheads and HP Professional Color Technologies enable 0.1 percent line accuracy and a resolution of up to 2,400 x 1,200 dpi
Consistent, professional prints with more than 35 Original HP media substrates, including HP Recycled Bond Paper, HP Cockle-free Coated Papers, HP Everyday Adhesive Matte Polypropylene and HP Durable Banner with DuPont Tyvek – designed together with HP Original inks for optimal performance
HP Accounting Excel Tool 2.0 lets users remotely create and view reports of the advanced usage tracking information of the printer, including supplies, media, user information, account information and the types of print jobs, making it easy for administrators to invoice or cross-charge departments, projects or clients at periodic intervals for the correct amount of printer usage
Compatible with key CAD applications, such as AutoCAD and products from Dassault Systèmes on the PC and Mac platforms
Optional HP Designjet 4500 Stacker capable of stacking up to 200 plots
HP Designjet 4520 HD-MFP and 4520 Scanner features include:
High copy and scan performance with scan speeds of 3 inches per second in color and 10 inches per second in black and white
Increased user control over final output with fast preview adjustment options, such as the ability to improve the quality of damaged or weathered originals with a background cleaning option, ensuring high-quality output with the first copy
Advanced CCD scanning technology that delivers a high level of detail in the HP Designjet 4520 HD-MFP, plus real-time printer, media and queue information available in the scanner user interface.
Pricing for the HP Designjet 4020 series is:
HP Designjet 4020 U.S. MSRP $7,650
HP Designjet 4020ps U.S. MSRP $9,750
HP Designjet 4520 U.S. MSRP $9,295
HP Designjet 4520ps U.S. MSRP $11,450
HP Designjet 4520 HD-MFP U.S. MSRP $27,895
When asked if the truly “paperless office” will become a reality for mechanical design and enginering in the foreseeable future, Jongen answered, “Although there is a change in demands, I don’t think so. Print remains useful for several different purposes, and will remain important as a primary and supplemental means of communication.”
With the advent of the new multi-function printers from HP, whoever said, “Paper is dead?” Not me. With these new printers, paper has a long life ahead of it for communication in the MCAD community.
More information about the HP Graphics Solutions portfolio is available at
The Week’s Top 5
At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.
i GET IT announced its support of Ford Motor Company's global "Next Generation" release of CAD/CAM/CAE/PIM (C3P-NG) software tools. i GET IT is an engineering knowledge management portal that allows Ford's Digital Innovation group to deliver all global C3P-NG methods through a single access point. Methods content can be configured to support the specific needs of individuals or groups and delivered to each user's custom learning path. Accessed by over 6,000 people and 100 suppliers globally, Ford utilizes i GET IT to deliver podcasts, process workflows, and a threaded discussion board in addition to internally developed C3P-NG tool usage methodology
documentation. The latest C3P-NG release provides the collaborative tools needed to drive One Ford behavior (One Team, One Plan, One Goal), which Ford believes is critical to their global success. i GET IT supports the challenge by providing a single web based application for the secure acquisition and transfer of engineering knowledge assets such as methods, best practices, and other forms of implicit engineering knowledge.
DS SolidWorks announced that an athletic equipment company has bought the one millionth license of its 3D CAD software. In the 14 years between this landmark and DS SolidWorks’ first sale to a robotic arm designer, thousands of innovative products have been developed with SolidWorks software. Utah-based OGIO International, Inc. bought license number one million for aluminum design engineer Sean Peterson, who is working on OGIO’s new line of motocross racing accessories. Peterson will use SolidWorks software to design products such as ramps, stands, and hardware for motocross bikes. OGIO is famous for designing creative and edgy athletic bags with innovative features like
the zipper-less ball pocket on its golf bags. The company’s designers use SolidWorks software to model injection-molded plastic pieces such as carrying handles, wheels, and golf bag frames. OGIO has been a SolidWorks customer for four years. The company brought CAD in-house so its designers didn’t have to rely on a third party’s interpretation of a sketch to produce a 3D model. Jon Hirschtick founded the company in 1993 to provide Windows-based 3D CAD software that offered sophisticated features and functionality in a reasonably priced, easy-to-use format. Dr. William Townsend’s then-new company, Barrett Technology Inc., was SolidWorks’ first customer.
Fourteen years later, Barrett’s WAM robotic arm is now in every major university and has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most advanced robot.
Autodesk has named Green Ocean Energy Ltd. (Green Ocean), a renewable energy company headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for April 2009. Green Ocean used Autodesk Inventor in the development of the Ocean Treader and Wave Treader, floating devices that convert the motion of the ocean into clean, renewable energy. The Ocean Treader is much like a buoy with a pair of arms, and is meant to be moored one to two miles offshore in open water. The Wave Treader shares a similar design but is intended to be mounted on the base of a static offshore structure, such as a wind turbine or tidal turbine. Both devices work on the same principle: as the ocean
causes the floating arms to rise and fall, the motion is harvested by hydraulic cylinders that generate electricity, which can then be exported back to shore via cable. The Inventor of the Month program recognizes the most innovative design and engineering advancements made by the extensive community using Autodesk Inventor software - the foundation of the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping. One of the primary challenges Green Ocean faced was building a device that could withstand the rough waters of the North Atlantic, where wave heights range from a relatively small six to 10 feet, to as much as 30 feet during winter storms. Every working part of the Ocean Treader needed to be
thoroughly analyzed and tested to help make it have the strength to survive in such a powerful and dynamic environment. These models have allowed the company to prove its concept through extensive indoor wave-pool testing. The team is currently raising funds to develop a full-size prototype to start offshore testing in 2011.
CAD Schroer today announced growth in the user base for MEDUSA4 Personal, the 2D/3D CAD product suite for private use. The company logged twice as many new users in the first quarter of 2009 as in the same period last year. Linux users outnumber Windows users in over half of the 109 countries of origin. They are voicing their appreciation of a fully featured CAD product that runs on their platform of choice. MEDUSA4 Personal is a fully featured advanced drafting system with smart editing and drafting power tools, basic 3D, parametrics, and a sheet metal design module. It supports Windows as well as six different Linux distributions (CentOS, Fedora, Mandriva, RedHat, SuSE, and Ubuntu).
The percentage of Linux users among the MEDUSA4 Personal audience varies significantly from country to country, and totals approximately 35%. While in Germany, the top download location, about 13% of users work with Linux. In Italy, the second largest download group, Linux users outnumber Windows users by nearly three to one. To run MEDUSA4 Personal, users register to receive their free 6-month license. This can be renewed via the CAD Schroer Website, giving designers the opportunity to download the latest release. MEDUSA4 Personal is regularly updated in line with the professional MEDUSA4 software releases. Download MEDUSA4 Personal for free at:
Graphics Systems Corporation (GXSC), a provider of SolidWorks engineering software solutions, announced the launch of its design analysis and consulting division, Sim3 Engineering Consulting. Sim3 was created in response to customer demand for product analysis to improve designs, reduce material costs, and design safer products. Sim3 specializes in assisting companies to improve products using finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), kinematic studies, and design optimization. Sim3 Engineering Consulting is comprised of an expert analysis team with over 40 years of combined experience in automotive, consumer, industrial, and other industries. By establishing
strong customer relationships through in-depth and cutting-edge analysis and software, Sim3's mission is to help companies test, analyze, and modify designs to create the best products for their customers.
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.