If you need to scan posters, banners, maps, drawings (especially if you are an architect, engineer, art historian, geographer, surveyor, or archaeologist) then this is a convenient place to start.

Model names and links to manufacturers of wide format scanners, sheet fed scanners, roll fed scanners, any large format scanning solution.

Wide format scanners are growing as everyone finally realizes that the future is digital storage and digital printing. Most of the large format scanners here are sheet fed or roll fed scanners but we also include giant flatbed scanners. Purup-Eskofot appears to produce the one of the few oversize flatbed scanners, the Esko Scan, covering an impressive 34 x 36 inches. This Danish company has undergone a name change but their scanners are still the same high quality.

We are interested in large format scanners because of the need to preserve photographic images of indigenous textiles. Moths, rot, earthquake, fire, civil unrest, and insects are busy at work destroying the national patrimony of many countries whose indigenous peoples produced material with native decorations. Whether bark paper ( Mexico ) to painted material to woven textiles such as Mexico and Guatemala , it will be a boon to scholarship (and national pride) if the national museums of these countries could digitize the designs and weaving patterns before the textiles rot. The director of Guatemala 's Museo Nacional de Arqueologia e Etnologia asked FLAAR to work out a solution of how to record their collection of thousands of their textile garments, headdresses, and other woven material.

The Titan Atlas scanner from Vidar Systems Corp can handle widths up to 40 inches and documents up to half an inch thick (posters, posterboard, etc). This is good if you have materials or archival things which are mounted on board or are inherently thick. Of course if you need to scan thicker objects, the Cruse scanner would be ideal.

The potential of handling thick items would also be of interest in scanning subjects (whether paper or material such as textiles) which you may want to insert in a "carrier," such as transparent material on one side and a protective material on the other side (to get something through the scanner that might otherwise skip on the rollers (such as the threads of a textile stalling, bunching up, and then being pushed through someout out of place).

Our main test studio is at the Museo Popol Vuh which is across the parking lot from the largest museum of indigenous textiles in this hemisphere, the Museo Ixchel (of native Maya weavings, especially Maya costumes). A few buildings away is the department of architecture of Guatemala 's leading university. Overall, between architectural drawings and colorful textiles, here is an optimum situation to show how a wide format printer can provide solutions to a wide variety of markets.

As we do our research, all the data that we obtain is made public through our web sites. We hope you enjoy these tables of information. FLAAR works long hours to provide content; not many bells and whistles, but lots of content. You can contact us through the Survey Form (in reply you get some free FLAAR Reports).

We do not have any Vidar, Contex, or WideCom wide format scanner so are unable to report on their capabilities. However we have recently received a Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 4200 wide format scanner. Our report should be ready shortly, in the FLAAR Series on CAD-GIS and in the FLAAR Series on quick-print reprographics (all available from www.wide-format-printers.NET).

If you have a Hewlett-Packard workflow, you can obtain information on all the HP wide format scanners such as the DesignJet 815mfp, HP DesignJet cc800ps, and HP DesignJet scanner 4200 from Scarab Graphics.

Large format print of a wide format scan
Anastassia Young (in the middle), student of architecture at BGSU, Dr Andreas
Luescher (right), Asst Professor of Architecture, and Dr Nicholas Hellmuth (left) holding up
before and after (original scanned with HP 4200 and print with HP 5500).
HP 4200 wide format scanner
Anne Behrnes and Brent Cavanaugh evaluating the HP 4200 wide format scanner.


Manufacturer

Comments

ACTion Imaging Solutions

Formed by the merger/buyout of ANAtech, Colortrac, and Tangent (hence ACT...)

Altek Corporation

ColorScanner III

ANAtech

Eagle series; purchased by Contrac; now part of ACTion Imaging Solutions

Colortrac

380Cx Wide Format, now joined with ANAtech and Tangent; to be called Action Imaging Solutions

Cruse

A reprographic copy stand format, but can accomplish the same as a large flatbed scanner or a wide format scanner.

CST

large flatbed scanner based on Zund platform. Very expensive.

Hewlett-Packard

HP DesignJet 815mfp, HP DesignJet cc800ps copier, HP DesignJet scanner 4200

Ideal

Resells Contex scanners

Purup-Eskofot Inc

oversize flatbeds, EskoScan, up to 34x46 inches, web site a bit confused due to being under construction last time we checked.

Screen

We saw a really large flatbed scanner at DRUPA 2004, but did not notice this scanner on the Screen USA web site. Maybe this scanner is available only in Europe? Screen USA shows only the tabloid-sized Cezanne Elite.

Tangent Imaging Systems

Purchased by Colortrac; together with ANAtech is part of ACTion Imaging Solutions

Vidar Systems

TruScan Spectra; TruScan Titan Atlas, up to 42" wide. Vidar was bought out by Contex about 2 years ago.

WideCom

SLC various models of wide format scanner. I believe these are made in India




Most recently updated May 27, 2004
Previously updated: Feb. 6, 2004, July 9, 2003 / April 21, 2004.