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Color in the AEC Market
Which Came First? The EGG Print or CAD Color
In 1991, when our very first plotter was on the fritz, we called in our repairman to give it one last hard look. Our 36 “ Versatec electrostatic plotter was not well; and, after three years of late nights messing with the humidifier, plastic curtains, treated thermal material and we were ready to move on.
Of course, the service technician was recommending a new one, and suggested a COLOR plotter for about $10,000 more than the $50,000 we were already pondering. We asked “Why do we need color? We are plotting line drawings for Architects and Engineers; they don’t need color.”
Fast-forward about 12 months later, we traded that plotter in for a color device and new-fangled “software” called Post Script. It turns out that engineers were finding reasons to plot drawings in color and graphic designers and architects were rendering in color, so the ability to print these images doubled our productivity.
Overheard at the RMX Network 2014 Fall Executive conference. Las Vegas, NV
“Whether we like it or not, based on global trends, the price for technical color print will come down. If you don’t respond by taking the lead, companies like HP & Canon will make it happen without you.”
Rick Bosworth, President, RMX Network
Color in the AEC Market
Today, about 90% of the equipment Cushing purchases has color capability. With the advent of BIM modeling, compact PDF files, electronic file transfer, web portals, and, the fact that jobs are being designed, estimated, bid and built in record time, it is incredible to suggest all this might get done without color.
To give you an idea of how far behind we are from Europe, I have a friend in London who printed an entire bid set in color for the 2012 London Olympic stadium — seven years ago!
In many cases drawings are still produced in black and white, not everything needs color. Current design resources like Revit and Adobe, make it easy and essential to include color, and more and more they are printed, yes, in color! Color EGG (Engineering Grade Graphics) printing & scanning is the one area that has seen steady growth in our A&E (architectural & engineering) print division in the past five years.
Regardless of what is actually being printed, color is playing a major role in the world of design and construction. Responsible estimating, BIM modeling and error-reductions in the field are the primary drivers.
Cushing has changed its business plan, lowered our pricing, and increased R & D to reflect these shifts. We are placing color plotters in job sites and printing and scanning in color daily. It just makes sense, and our client base has dictated these investments.
Looking ahead, you can be sure that the latest technology will make it worth considering very soon.