Recently, the topic of comparing a Canon iPF770 plotter to the newer TM-305 large format printer has been a common and recurring theme. Several folks have asked for apples-to-apples comparison between these two units. Obviously, they are doing their home work and finding similar information about these two units online.
The confusion is understandable. After all, they are both 36-inch Canon printers. Shouldn’t they be similar? In a word, no. At first glance they appear the same, but there is a lot of differences under the hood. Essentially, the biggest thing that they have in common is a 36-inch wide printing width. Otherwise, they are very different indeed.
Canon iPF770 - Generations Behind the TM-Series
First, it is important to know what the iPF770 is exactly. It is basically a re-branded imagePROGRAF iPF760. If you remember, the iPF760 and iPF765 were Canon’s front line of 36-inch CAD printers circa 2012. They were fine units for sure, but the technology has advanced to meet the changing demands of today’s AEC office workflow.
Still, they were great printers, and Canon saw an opportunity. They re-branded the iPF760 as the iPF770, lowered the price, and offered as a less expensive, entry-level model. Online sellers love this product. That is why it you can find them EVERYWHERE online. But, be aware that the iPF770 is actually 2 generations older that the current TM-Series.
Limitations of the older iPF770
- The iPF770 connects by either RJ-45 Ethernet or USB (No wireless option)
- It uses the smaller 130ml ink tanks, higher ink cost per ml
- Dye-based inks (except for the pigment MBK). Prints will fade and if the drawing get wet, the ink will bleed
TM-300/305 - New Tech, More Functionality
The TM Series is the latest iteration of Canon’s 36-inch large format printers. The two models are the TM-300 (no internal hard drive) and the more powerful TM-305 (internal 500 GB hard drive).
Built with Canon developed technologies the TM-300 and TM-305 have a new 5-color LUCIA TD pigment ink, PF-06 print head, L-COA PRO image processor, along with a clear, intuitive operation panel and is nearly 60% quieter than previous models - Plus there is a host of creative workflow software included.
Benefits of the newer TM-300/305 Models:
- New design, 60% quieter than previous models
- Pigment Inks, fade-proof and water-resistant
- Choice of ink sizes: 130ml or 300ml tanks (larger tanks reduce the cost of ink per ml) - Overall cost of operation will be lower due to ability to purchase larger ink tanks at a lower cost per ml (770 @ $.54/ml vs 305/ml @ $.46)
- USB printing which allows a user to access files without a local computer connected to the printer
- Mobile printing from cell phone or tablet devices
- WIFI enabled (numerous advantages here)
- Pigmented inks for higher durability against fading, water resistant even with plain paper
- TM 305 has flat stacking basket vs. standard catch tray thus keeping print jobs stacked neatly in the order they were printed
- It has an onboard 500GB Hard Drive that provides these additional benefits:
- Onboard hard drive acts like an internal print server
- Allows jobs to transfer and process onboard, rather than spool from your local machines
- Frees up network traffic
- Allows for the creation of desktop Custom Mailboxes for drag-and-drop file printing
- Keeps a print history of the last 500 jobs (The non-hard drive TM-300 only keeps the last 10 jobs)
- Print files without slowing down the workstation
The TM-300 or TM-305 printer is not only ideal for printing technical documents, CAD drawings and GIS maps, but also posters, signage and displays with the use of Canon’s LUCIA TD water resistant pigment ink. So, your marketing department will love it as much or more.
Built with Canon developed technologies the TM-300 and TM-305 has a 5-color LUCIA TD pigment ink, PF-06 print head, L-COA PRO image processor, along with a clear, intuitive operation panel and is nearly 60% quieter than previous models - Plus there is a host of creative workflow software included.
Newly developed for this series is Free Layout Plus, a print utility that allows users to tile nest and create custom layouts before printing.
Direct Print & Share, Canon’s cloud portal software, has new added features as does Canon’s poster creation software, PosterArtist Lite making this printer an easy choice for the architectural, engineering and construction industries as well as office environments. (Download Direct Print and Share for free - Here).
Have questions? We are help to help and guide you.