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Architect's favourite the HP DesignJet marks 30 years

The first wide-format printer for in-house commercial use continues to be invaluable

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The HP DesignJet studio printer series is compact enough for homeworking too.
The HP DesignJet studio printer series is compact enough for homeworking too.

The HP DesignJet studio workhorse - the first wide-format printer available for in-house use - continues to enable architects and other professionals within the AEC industry to print large-scale drawings, schematics, renderings and presentations with quality, precision and ease.

And, like any career-driven professional hitting their 30s, the DesignJet continues to respond to sector changes, staying relevant to the industry it serves by progressing sustainably.

Unlike its predecessors - the cumbersome and slow-moving flatbed plotters of the 1970s and 80s, which relied on a moveable arm and pen - the compact DesignJet harnessed HP’s innovative thermal inkjet technology to render line drawings and graphics, in mono and colour, with speed and accuracy.

From printing rare photos of the Beatles’ American debut to digitising Kyoto’s visual heritage, since its arrival on the scene in 1991, the DesignJet has built an enviable portfolio as the facilitator of countless architectural and design endeavours:

  • The HP DesignJet 1500C Plus was the technology of choice for the team working on Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in 2001.
  • In 2006, Michel Rojkind and BIG used the HP DesignJet 3100 to present their winning design for the Tamayo Museum, Mexico DF.
  • HP DesignJet T-series technical plotters were used in the Sichuan earthquake recovery efforts in 2013.
  • In happier circumstances, Disneyland Shanghai was also designed using HP plotters. 

HP’s DesignJet technology has evolved in line with the way that architects and designers work, catering to usage requirements for paper size (from A4 to A0), cutting and scanning functionality, mobility, colour, ink longevity, speed and precision.

HP DesignJet 30 chronology.
HP DesignJet 30 chronology.

Crucially, one such area is sustainability. As architects work dedicatedly to reducing the impact of both projects and practices, technology must support this vision.

HP has a long history of manufacturing, from recycled materials and producing products destined to be recycled at end of life.

Consequently, the company been ranked top in Newsweek’s America’s Most Responsible Companies list for two years in a row - 2020 and 2021 - on account of its sustainability ethos. 

In terms of the DesignJet:

  • In 2016 the T2600 benefited from a 20 per cent reduction in ink usage despite being a six-colour printer.
  • In 2017 the T1700 was the first in the range to comprise 30 per cent recycled plastic and has continued to improve since then.
  • In 2020, the HP Planet Partners initiative was the industry’s premier supplies recycling program.
  • Most recently, the Eco Carton ink cartridge has done away with the need for plastic in favour of carton, significantly reducing plastic waste and CO2 emissions.
  • The HP DesignJet Studio Printer was the first in the series for which HP offset the remaining carbon impact of raw material extraction and processing, printer manufacturing and transportation, electricity, paper and cartridge use, in accordance with the CarbonNeutral Protocol.

All this is paving the way for other HP products. As the design industry turns its focus to saving the environment, HP continues to innovate to support this endeavour.


Isabella Jelinek, UK and Ireland marketing manager, large format printing, HP Graphics Solutions Business
+34 605796393



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