Step Up Your Construction Drawings with the Right Media - TAVCO

Color Construction Drawing

The good ole construction drawing. It has been called many things over the years - blueprints, bluelines, sepias, but mostly they are referred to as construction plans.

Even in this day of CAD applications and digital workflows, the printed sheet is still very common and relevant to the modern construction jobsite.

Get the most out of your drawings be choosing the right media for printing. There are more choices than simply paper, and they can lead you to some amazing results. 

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Engineering Bond

Engineering Bond

Despite the fancy name, this is just paper. Nothing fancy, simply the same twenty pound (20#) paper stock used in your office copier. Only this is packaged on 500-foot rolls, not in packed reams.

There are a few rare instances where precut sheets are required. In that case, it is still possible to get this paper in several standard precut sizes.

Engineering bond is mostly used in toner-based xerographic systems such as the Oce PlotWave 345 or Kip 7171. Since toner doesn’t require any special coatings, plain paper works just fine in these systems.

Shop for Engineering Bond


Inkjet Check Plot Bond

Inkjet Check Plot Bond

This is very similar to engineering bond except, it is cut and sized for inkjet printers. You can instantly spot the difference since this is rolled onto a 2-inch diameter cardboard core. Engineering on the other hand, is mounted on a 3-inch core.

It is called “check plot bond” because of an industry nickname. Inkjet bond is the least expensive paper to load into an inkjet plotter.

Architects and engineers use to print “check plots” to review their work before printing the final set on a much nicer type of media.

Shop for Inkjet Check Plot Bond

"Get outside of your comfort zone and print your construction drawings on something besides regular paper and leave a lasting impression. "

Deluxe Bond

Deluxe Bond

This is the next level up regarding paper quality. Deluxe bond is a 24# paper, so it is heavier than standard check plot bond. Plus, it is formulated especially for final plots or presentations.

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Premium Bond

Premium Bond

If you want your color construction drawing or rendering to really POP, then Preimum bond is what you want to use. It is coated with a special inkjet receptive coating on one side and anti-curl coating the reverse side.

The purpose of the ink coating is to accept the ink from the printer with our any bleeding or feathering.

If you take a side-by-side comparison of the same drawing on Premium Bond and Check Plot Bond, there is no question. Premium bond will look far superior.

This media is extremely useful when it comes to printing thin lines and very small details.

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Heavyweight Bond

Heavyweight Bond

If you are really looking to make an impact at a presentation, a thick, heavyweight media is in order. Presentation Matte paper is designed for presentation graphics and low cost prepress applications.

With fast dry times, easy lamination, low dot gain and dye and pigment ink compatibility, this paper is an easy choice when you need a WOW factor.

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Extreme Bond

Extreme Bond

Oce XTRM Extreme Bond paper is just plain cool. It is a high-quality bond with super hero-like abilities.

It is durable, water resistant, and tear resistance. That’s right, tear resistance. Although it is not entirely tear-proof, it can be a fun office challenge to see who can tear it first.

Not only does the paper create some great looking prints, but the durable nature lends itself to keep the sheet protected on a jobsite.

Pro Tip, print a master set of plans to keep in the trailer and have confidence that they will not be destroyed by rough handling.

Shop for Extreme Bond


Photo Papers

Photo Papers

While these will not see much use at a job site, photo paper is awesome for color plans with images, elevations, and renderings. Many companies will use this material to print drawings for meetings, shows, and presentations.

Photo paper is one media that unquestionably points out that the print quality of an inkjet printer has more to do with the print media than the printer technology.

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Specialty Media

Specialty Media

Moving beyond photo paper, there is still a wide range of print material to explore. To produce tough banners and posters, Tyvek, Polypropylene, and Vinyl are solid choices.

Fabric is another material that most people don’t realize is available. Most all Canon plotters are capable of printing (and cutting) canvas, PhotoTex, and other fabrics.

Think about what a mark you would leave by adhering a removable adhesive fabric print of your project’s aerial perspective.

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It is amazing to see how many different media types are available for wide-format printers. Even though standard CAD printers are a wide departure from their Full Graphics cousins, the base technology is essentially the same.

You can print some pretty amazing things on a standard 4 or 5-color printer, if you have the right material.

Get outside of your comfort zone and print your construction drawings on something besides regular paper and leave a lasting impression.

Have questions about print media? We'd love to help. 

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1 comment

Zoe Campos

Zoe Campos

Thank you for featuring the different types of paper that can be used for wide-format printers. My mother recently told me that she needs bond paper for her work. I should find bond paper rolls for her near our area soon.

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