LARGE format printing resources

tdtastic

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Sep 16, 2014
Location
Alabama
Our set designer has a created a very cool digital image of a collage that needs to cover a wall about 20'x12'. This is not something we could ever recreate with paint so we need to have this printed in either a single piece or multiple sections that could be laminated to a luan wall

Rosebrand's seamless fabric printing is a bit too much for us this time, and because this will be mounted to a hard wall for only a month or so, it could be paper or any material really.

Looking for ideas of who to call -- a billboard company? any thoughts of how to do this locally would be much appreciated.
 

Van

CBMod
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Jul 27, 2006
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Portland, Or.
Yeah, a billboard company is a great resource, and often a lot cheaper than one might think. If you were in Portland I could recommend at least three different Large format printers. Check billboard Companies and Sign companies. someplace like "Signs Now" or even Office depot might be able to refer you to a good place.
 
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RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Our set designer has a created a very cool digital image of a collage that needs to cover a wall about 20'x12'. This is not something we could ever recreate with paint so we need to have this printed in either a single piece or multiple sections that could be laminated to a luan wall

Rosebrand's seamless fabric printing is a bit too much for us this time, and because this will be mounted to a hard wall for only a month or so, it could be paper or any material really.

Looking for ideas of who to call -- a billboard company? any thoughts of how to do this locally would be much appreciated.
@tdtastic Definitely find a billboard printer. I'm posting from Canada. Less than five miles from me a printer whose mainstay used to be large format screen printing has three 16' wide, roll-fed, colored ink jets in a row next to a 12' wide roll-fed colored laser. They're running the 16' wide ink jets essentially 24 / 7 / 365 on a wide variety of materials ranging from several thicknesses of plain white plastic, through lightly perforated white plastic intended for banners across escalators so shoppers riding the escalator can both read the banner and see through it to the layout of the basement below. They also print on heavier weight plastic with pre-cut flaps arrayed across it to withstand winds when stretched across four or five lane roads. One of their plastics is designed for both front and rear lighting and is normally found on highway-sized billboards where they're front lit by the sun during the day then rear lit by lights within the billboard after dusk. Even when printing 16' wide they're often printing in sections then carefully aligning and high-frequency heat seaming / welding the sections together and even manage to create essentially invisible seams that disappear even when back-lit. Every now and again a seam gets misaligned or wrinkled and, since the welded seams cannot be separated for reuse, massive amounts of plastic hit their dumpsters. So long as bin-pickers leave the bins and parking lot tidy, they don't mind people "borrowing" their mistakes for large waterproof ground cloths for family picnics or to tarp a roofing project when rain's pending.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Bob Bayer

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Location
Bohemia, NY
Have you considered projection? Depends on the ambient lighting, existing wall surface, wall color and distance of the viewer from the surface however......but would be cheep as anything with a rented high output laser projector.
 

macsound

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Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
Echod graphics is cheap, but inconsistent. I used to use them for large stickers and window clings when merchandising retail stores.
I think its because they use different machinery at different factories depending on what you order.
Sometimes it looked really good on clear vinyl but super pixelated on white.
However, the 30' rule applies here, so quality isn't super important.
 

kicknargel

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Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
I've used Source One Digital many time, with good results. Printing on vinyl is more affordable than dye sub on fabric. It's shinier, but works in some circumstances. I think one can ink jet print on poly poplin fabric; sort of a middle ground.
 

ruinexplorer

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Our set designer has a created a very cool digital image of a collage that needs to cover a wall about 20'x12'. This is not something we could ever recreate with paint so we need to have this printed in either a single piece or multiple sections that could be laminated to a luan wall
Remember that most often when we create digital images, they are set at 72dpi. Printing will require at least 300dpi.
 
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kicknargel

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Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
Printing will require at least 300dpi
I don't think that's necessary true. Depends on your viewing distance. At full scale, I've printed backdrops at 12 DPI. Blurry up close, but fine from the front row.

Just make sure you're calculating the DPI at full scale. If your image will be 20' wide, you need 20' x 12" x 12 DPI = 2880 total pixels across. More is of course better, I'd call that the minimum.
 

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
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Fair enough. I was going by what my local printer requested for large format.
 

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