Lowest cost per Sq Ft


Hi All,
I'm in the market for a second wide-format machine, i want to know what machine has the lowest ink cost per sq ft.
Currently researching, and the machine that has the lowest cost is the Mimaki SWJ320-S4 with US$0.10 sq ft
Is there anything lower than this? Thanks.

Just who is making this claim?

And in what condition is the machine when it's achieving this result?

The thing is, as you asked the question, it's impossible to answer. Let's just go back to the basic rule that RIP's convert pixels into dots using information given to them by profiles. So a printer profile tells every printer that ever made any dot how to create that dot.

I guarantee you, I can make one printer waste a whole lot of ink, or be very miserly with ink, purely by making a profile to do so.

And odds are you're going to have a great deal of trouble selling the output from the most miserly profile I can make. The first color to go when cutting too far back on ink is always red. And red is what most clients insist on.

I'd also point out that the reason many printers have high ink costs is that they throw a lot of ink into the dumpster in the form of patches printed chasing color, or jobs re-run for bad color.

The best way to make money in large format printing is to print the best possible job your printer can print, first sheet, every time. That's the one true way to lower your material costs.

Mike Adams
Correct Color
I may be wrong but that is an incredibly variable thing to measure. Your cost per sqft is going to be different on archD blueprints than it is on archD glossy full color saturated posters. I run a Canon Inkjet and they have a cost accounting tool I use to measure my ink usage, paper usage, and associating costs.

Opening it up to take a look: here are the costs per sq ft on my last few jobs, all on the same basic 36# paper: $0.0293/sqft, $0.1791/sqft, $0.18100/sqft, $0.0436/sqft.

This cost is just the cost of the ink used, the paper hasn't been factored in.

The reason there is such a huuuuuge discrepancy is some of these are just large prints with small lines that barely use ANY ink. Other prints use 10x the ink and are commensurately expensive.

tl;dr: your price per sq/ft depends on what you're printing.
Believe me the cost of ink is a minor factor when it comes to large format.
How quickly you can turn a job around at a sellable quality is more important.
Along with user maintenance, ease of use, tech support and ability to print on a wide range of media.
Sorry for the late reply guys, I guess I may have worded my question wrong.
I really wanted to say the COST PER ML (Milli Litre) of ink. Currently, i have an HP latex 115 that is only 400ML.
Currently eyeing an HP 570(Used) that has a 3L ink box per cart which is much cheaper Per ML of ink than the 115.
Where I'm from, unlike the US, it cost us way more for consumables because they need to be imported,
So it's a critical aspect.
I'm not a big fan of HPs so haven't really researched them but I believe those latex printers with the bulk ink do have way cheaper ink/ml. They do cost more for the printer so you need to put a large volume through it to make it worth the extra upfront cost.
If you can get one used for a decent price then go for it.
The other thing with HPs to watch out for is they do have an end of life date beyond which consumables become hard or impossible to buy.
My Canon 460 ink is $330.00 for 2 Liters, so $0.165/ml and Mutoh ValuJet ink is $129.00 for 440ml or $0.293/ml all US dollars. That's why our Mutoh is just for vehicle wraps that require a high stretch ink.


A 30-day Fix for Managed Chaos

As any print professional knows, printing can be managed chaos. Software that solves multiple problems and provides measurable and monetizable value has a direct impact on the bottom-line.

“We reduced order entry costs by about 40%.” Significant savings in a shop that turns about 500 jobs a month.

Learn how…….