Wide Format Scanning

Why Are Wide Format Scanners So Costly? How To Pay Less!

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Wide format scanners have become essential tools for industries like architecture, engineering, GIS, construction, art, and others. However, their seemingly high price tags often raise questions. So what is the justification for the expense of wide format scanners. Here I’ll provide some insight on the technology, features, and market dynamics driving these prices and also offer some savvy tips for making budget-friendly wide format scanning decisions.Repro Stacking Stand for wide format scanning

What Are Wide Format Scanners?

Wide format scanners are designed to capture larger documents, such as blueprints, architectural plans, maps, schematics, and artwork. These large format scanners utilize one of two types of technology, CCD (Charged Couple Device) or CIS (Contact Image Sensor), for more information read this blog post – CCD versus CIS technology.  Since there are either a series of cameras or contactor arrays, the wide format scanner has to have the technology to stitch images together from each in the series.  The precision and capacity to handle oversized materials make wide format scanners valuable assets. However, this advanced technology comes at a cost.

Key Factors Influencing the Price of Wide Format Scanners

Although it primarily boils down to technology, there are several different aspects of technology that are involved.  Research & Development (R&D) has its cost, and the engineers have to be paid!


Picture if you will a series of three or four cameras that are digitizing specific areas of a blueprint, each concisely and clearly collecting data as the blueprint passes over the camera lenses (although there is more to it, like how the scanner platen (glass) and mirrors are integral components too).  Yet, how the image is interpreted from the end of camera one to the beginning of camera two, and from the end of camera two to the beginning of camera three, etc. with the image appearing as continuous, this is called stitching, and when working properly is seamless.

Optical Resolution and Precision

Wide format scanners need high optical resolution to capture intricate details accurately. This requires sophisticated sensors and optics, contributing to higher manufacturing costs.

Large Format Compatibility

The ability to scan materials beyond the standard letter size demands stronger mechanical components and complex feeding systems, adding to production expenses.


As with most technology, we all want it faster so that we can be more productive and efficient, so manufacturers are continuously working to make their large format scanners faster.

Color Accuracy

Many wide format scanners are designed to reproduce colors faithfully. Ensuring color accuracy involves intricate calibration processes, raising both manufacturing and maintenance costs.

Image Processing Capabilities

Scanners equipped with advanced image processing features like de-screening, color correction, and noise reduction require powerful processors, adding to the overall expense.

Durability and Reliability

Industries that rely on wide format scanners require durability and reliability. Manufacturers invest in robust materials and testing, increasing costs.

Market Dynamics – Niche Demand

The market for wide format scanners is relatively niche, resulting in lower economies of scale. Manufacturers distribute development and production costs across a smaller customer base, can lead to higher prices.Contex HD Ultra X with AIO,

Comparing Costs and Benefits:

While the initial investment in a wide format scanner might seem high when compared to cheap office desktop scanners, the benefits often outweigh the costs. Time-saving, improved productivity, and enhanced image quality contribute to long-term value for businesses that require digitizing wide format documents.

Smart Strategies to Save on Scanning

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Determine your essential needs.  Do you intend to do a lot of scanning or very little?  What size scanner do you actually need? And look into the features that you really need and avoid paying for unnecessary add-ons.

Evaluate Outsourcing

Service Bureau companies like AZ Overland Blueprint (yes, we offer the service in addition to offering the equipment) offer wide format scanning at competitive rates.  Often times outsourcing to a company like ours can save a lot of money, time, and aggravation!  Putting projects in the hands of experts can make your life a lot simpler, and it gets done right the first time!

Consider Refurbished

Explore refurbished options for potential savings; however, be cautious when looking to purchase older technology.  Make certain that all of the components and necessary parts & accessories are included, and actually test the equipment prior to purchasing.

Does Leasing a Large Format Scanner Make Sense?

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Consider leasing as an affordable alternative to upfront purchasing.  Leasing is a way to finance equipment for businesses.  At the end of most leases, you have the option of returning the equipment or executing the buy-out provision. We at AZ Overland Blueprint offer customized leasing solutions.Contex IQ Quattro, Inkjet plotter printer Large plotter printer, Wide format printing services, Buy large format printer, Large color printer

How About Renting a Wide Format Scanner?

Renting a scanner is a short-term solution of paying to use someone else’s equipment.  Renting a scanner can be a viable solution for a relatively short-term digitizing project.  Again, assessing your needs for the project are paramount.  Renting can be a good solution whereby the intent is to return the large format scanner when the scan project is complete.  We also offer rental options at AZ Overland Blueprint.

In Summary

Wide format scanners are sophisticated devices with a range of features and technologies that justify their price point.  These technology enriched scanners are for businesses seeking the best solutions for their needs. By understanding the driving factors and employing cost-cutting strategies your business can access the benefits of these powerful tools without breaking the bank.

AZ Overland Blueprint offers a range of wide format scanners tailored to meet most any industry’s demands. Contact us to explore our advanced scanning solutions that deliver both performance and value for your particular needs. Discover budget-friendly wide format scanner options at AZ Overland Blueprint. Achieve high-quality scans and efficiency without sacrificing your budget. Contact us or call us at (602) 224-9971 today!

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