Replacement Large Format Plotter
This proposal seeks to replace an eight-year old large format plotter with a new, current generation model to complement our two other plotters in the School of Art Computer Center (SOACC). This replacement plotter would allow us to stock a single, much less expensive ink set, allow students to print over twice as fast as the old model, and provide a completely consistent user experience throughout all print systems in the facility.
This proposal falls within Category 1 - Collaborative.
Items in this proposal meet all requirements outlined in the proposal guidelines.
The School of Art + Art History + Design was just awarded an STF proposal replacing all of our smaller workgroup class printers and upgrading the Raster Image Processor Software and computers running our plotters. This ensures that all 11 printers in the SOACC are using the same hardware and software configuration that is vital to continued high-end production that students are demanding.
Printing capabilities in this lab are unmatched anywhere on or off campus and these resources are in high demand and provide students from all over campus with extremely high-quality archival documents that will last for decades. We use a range of different papers in our lab and can output up to 44in wide and to over 10 feet in length - all at high-resolution museum quality.
Benefits to Students and the University
Our students and many others from programs across campus have benefited tremendously from equipment and software funded by the STF. Students creating work within our SOACC, or on their own computers, rely on capable, well-functioning equipment and software here that they cannot individually afford - it is crucial that they continue to have access to these tools to prepare for their careers upon exiting the University.
The SOACC is an extremely important space within the School of Art where students can output a wide variety of 2D pieces on an array of printers and plotters not found elsewhere on campus, or indeed off campus. It is a vital part of the School and is a valued and sought-after resource.
In conjunction with the just awarded first-round proposal, replacing our one remaining eight-year old plotter with a new generation model will essentially have allowed us to completely refurbish our printing capabilities to last for the next several years. The new plotter is well over twice as fast and will dramatically reduce plot output times for our students, as well as provide a completely uniform output expectation from all of our printers.
The inkset used in the old plotter is extremely expensive now, not available in many locations, and becoming increasingly difficult to find. Having a single inkset to stock and work with, will help keep operations and supplies purchasing as streamlined as possible.
Additionally, we are experiencing more frequent malfunctions and cannot afford, nor would it be prudent, to have expensive repairs or parts replacements completed because of the age of the device. For example a print head replacement is essentially half the cost of a new plotter.
The timing of this second-round STF would be an excellent opportunity to replace this plotter to bring all of our printing devices to the same standard of quality and reliability.
I am delighted to support the STF grant from Mark Rector to replace our slowest, oldest and malfunctioning plotter with a more robust model. These plotters are in very high demand from students in all programs of the UW Design Division (Visual Communication Design, Interaction Design and Industrial Design). Our students use these plotters to prepare course projects and portfolio materials that cannot be produced elsewhere—the cost of plotters at commercial printing services is far more expensive than in the UW SOACC.
Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professor
University of Washington
Division of Design, School of Art
Seattle, Washington USA 98195-3440
Items in this budget can be purchased following proposal award - installation would occur preferably when disruption to lab usage is minimal during summer 2015 prior to the start of fall quarter.
Resources Provided by Department
All computing resources at the School of Art are managed by Mark Rector. Staffing for the SOACC is provided by up to 10 workstudy students for about 75hrs of open access per week. Support is also provided by a Program Assistant staff member who provides secondary assistance for computing resources in the School. Mark Rector also manages the computing facilities at Sandpoint and the CMA, with additional day to day help by student volunteers.
The School of Art, Art History, and Design provides resources to cover all equipment repair and/or replacement. We also obtain miscellaneous items for students to use through our equipment checkout system.
The School purchased a large-format plotter (Epson Stylus 9890 44in wide) in 2011 to complement our other systems.
We have also purchased a charging/security cart and 10 Apple iPads for student checkout.
The SOA continues to provide licensing for the JAMF Casper Suite of tools for computer management and Faronics DeepFreeze for maintenance of well-functioning computers for our student labs.
Access Restrictions (if any)
Computing labs at the School of Art are primarily intended for students pursuing Art, Art History, and Design degrees. The School of Art currently has about 800 undergraduate majors, and although we typically designate our STF grants with departmental priority, we have never denied any student access and continue to have students use the labs from many other disciplines including Zoology, Business, Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, and Geography.
Access is maintained by staff with regular hours usually from 9am to 10pm Mon – Thurs, and 10am to 6pm on Fridays and weekends throughout the primary school year. We often increase our hours of operation to enable later hours and more weekend access during times of heaviest use around the end of each quarter and during finals week. We also maintain open hours during the summer quarter.
All of our facilities are accessible to mobile wireless users who often bring their laptops and other devices to our computing labs.
I have printed on the plotters both for class and work, and emphasize the importance of having efficient printers that print consistently and with high quality. When printing for the Design Career Fair, I had 12 to 14 different sheets coming out that were needed the next day, and the process of printing alone took 70% of the total time required to do the project from start to finish. This also meant that printing brought higher stakes, as last minute reprints took a long time to develop. My time would have been better spent if I didn't have to wait for the prints to finish.
The quality of a print can be the difference of whether a design poster looks successful or not. Having a better plotter would not only produce better student projects, but also be greatly appreciated as a faster printer would save students a lot of time of waiting for the print and waiting for other students to finish with their print.
There have been many occasions where students, including myself, have had to wait for hours to print from the plotter due to long printing queues. Replacing one of our oldest plotters will not only help cut queue times in half and save electricity, but will also greatly alleviate students and staff members of stress during high-demand printing hours.
As a senior in the interaction design program, I have spent numerous hours in the SOACC, utilizing the plotter myself, or watching others do so. In noticing the speed at which the current plotter functions, I can attest to the fact that updating this printer would greatly increase the speed of the printing process and the efficiency of the printing facility over all.
Epson 9890K3 Plotter w/stand and extended warranty.
Replacement for Epson 9800 plotter that has been in operation for nearly eight years in the School of Art Computer Center.
New plotter would match our other two plotters of this type and allow us to maintain a single ink set across all three plotters. The old 9800 uses a different ink formulation and because of it's age is much more expensive. A new plotter using the same inkset would also allow for a completely consistent printing outcome for students using different paper types.
The new plotter would also be over twice as fast, allowing a full 44x62 plot in about 35 minutes as opposed to well over an hour.
Tax and Shipping costs - note that in this case this is tax only as the vendor provides free shipping and setup.
Total requested: $6,356.80
Total funded: $6,356.80
Are you sure you want to discard votes and partials for this proposal?