Printing Large Format Technical Documents - What’s Best: Print In-house or Outsource

In business, one of the many keys to success is effective control over expenses, no matter how big or small the organization. One area that often gets overlooked in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) business operations is the cost of printing large format technical documents. Because large format technical documents are such a critical part of an AEC firm’s operations, the question becomes; should you print your large format documents in-house or outsource the printing of them?

Like many questions, there is no clear cut easy answer; it depends on a number of factors. For example, if you just consider the actual drawing costs as measured in cost/sq. ft., it generally is less costly to print in-house.

Based on current market survey information, outsourced large format technical document printing costs can be as high as $40/page for 24" x 36" color printed maps and construction documents and $4.50/page for 24" x 36" black & white printed construction documents. Printing these same documents in-house can usually be done for much less with an investment in a large format printer. In fact, recent customer data shows it is not unusual to save 46% or more on your outsourced large format printing costs when printing in-house. Learn more about how investing in a wide format printer can help reduce costs in the long run in Canon Solutions America’s whitepaper, Printing Large Format Technical Documents: In-House or Outsource?

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