Printing & Plotting

Student printing work on oversize printer

The College of Design computer labs provide high-quality color printers, plotters, and a textile printer. Read more to learn how to print in the labs, best practices, current prices, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Lab Printing Instructions & Prices

Photo, Plotters, and Textile

File Guidelines

For plotting or printing to the photo or textile printers, use this Google Drive folder to upload a PDF file.

Each file must be submitted as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf. If your file is converted from another program such as Illustrator or Photoshop, make sure to save a copy of the file and merge all the layers and then save as a PDF. 

Your file size should be no larger than 100MB.

Printing Tips

  • When exporting with Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop save a new copy and merge all layers prior to converting to .pdf. 
  • Best Practice: When creating new documents in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop change the resolution to 150 dpi
  • If the file is already created, resolution should be no more than 150 dpi.
    • In Illustrator, after clicking Save As and changing the file type to PDF, click on Compression and change the average downsampling size for all categories to 150 dpi. 
    • In Photoshop, after clicking Save As and changing the file type to PDF, click on Compression and change the Bicubic Downsampling To 150 dpi, for images above 300 dpi.
    • In InDesign, after clicking Export and changing the file type to PDF, click on Compression and change Bicubic downsampling to 150 dpi for all images above 300 dpi for the first two categories. 
  • After exporting make sure the file size is under 100MB by right-clicking on your saved PDF file and clicking Properties. There you will find the size of your file under “Size”.
Laser Printers

To print on the Laser printers, which supports 8.5 x 11” and 11 x 17,” download a print driver to do it on your own laptop (drivers located below), or use the desktops in Rapson 71 or McNeal 69. If you’re having trouble with this, please see a lab attendant. 

Laser Printing Steps:

  1. To print from your personal device or lab computer, please move the document to your desktop and save as a PDF.
  2. Select “CDes_McNeal69_Laser” when at McNeal or “CDes_Rapson71_Laser” when at Rapson and edit the print settings to your liking. 
  3. To print double-sided, click "Properties" in the print dialog box. Then change "2-sided printing" to Short edge binding if your document is laid out horizontally, or to Long edge binding if your document is laid out vertically, and then press ok.
  4. After selecting “print” the job will be sent to the Laser Printing Station, which is located next to the laser printers. 
  5. Slide your UCard through the card reader in the keyboard and select your jobs on the screen, your jobs should have your student email next to them. 
  6. By clicking “print”, you are agreeing to pay the cost shown on the screen. You must have sufficient funds in your GopherGold account to pay for your print jobs. Use this link to add funds or find a cash deposit station.
  7. Your selected jobs can then be picked up from either one of the laser printers. 
  8. If a red blinking light comes up on the printer, find a lab attendant for assistance. 
Plotting (42" wide)Matte Paper: $3 / linear footSatin Paper: $3 / linear footBond Paper: $1 / linear foot
Photo PrintingPremier Photo Luster 12 Mil 8.5x11: $2.00Transparency Film 17" Roll: $2.00 / linear footYour Paper - 8.5x11: $2.00 / print
Laser PrintingB&W, Single Sided: $0.05B&W, Double Sided: $0.08

Color, Single Sided: $0.12


Color, Double Sided: $0.20

Textile Printing (44" wide)Cotton Sheeting: $7.50 / linear foot  


All Personal paper is $2.00 per print.


Plotter File Issues

Sometimes, your file will behave oddly when we send it to a printer, especially when the original file contains lots of vector artwork. Here are some examples of what we’re talking about:

  • Only part of the file prints.
  • The file appears in the print queue and seems to be printing, but the printer ultimately skips it and moves on to the next job without printing the desired job.
  • The printhead shutters back and forth on the right side of the printer without actually printing anything.
  • The file appears in the print queue and keeps printing on repeat, and it is difficult to cancel.
  • Adobe Acrobat throws a “Document can not/will not be printed” error.
  • Adobe Acrobat throws a “drawing error has occurred” error.

Solution: Export a PNG as Directly as Possible From the Program you Initially Created Your File In

Process Overview

  1. Save a copy of your ORIGINAL file  
  2. Take note of the desired print dimensions
  3. Export High-Quality/(300ppi) PNG(s)
  4. Upload the PNG(s) to the CDES Print Drive

Detailed instructions for Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Rhino are listed below.

Adobe Illustrator 


Find export instructions HERE 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Flatten Artwork before exporting

IMPORTANT NOTE: When exporting, Use Artboards and select one or a range of artboards to export. Each artboard will be exported as a separate PNG. If you have multiple artboards to print, consider merging them onto one artboard. 

Adobe InDesign 

Find export instructions HERE


Export the copied file as an Adobe Illustrator File and then follow the Adobe Illustrator instructions above.


Laptop Drivers

Students may install the drivers below on their laptops for printing to the College of Design laser printers in Rapson 71, 235, 305, and McNeal 69. Windows drivers will work with Windows versions 7–10 and Mac drivers will work with OSX 10.10 (Yosemite)–10.12 (Sierra).

Windows Drivers (OS versions 8.1 and 10)

Mac OSX Drivers (10.13 and higher)

McNeal 69 Lasers

Rapson 71 Lasers

Rapson 235/245 Windows

Rapson 305 Windows

McNeal 69 Lasers

Rapson 71 Lasers

Rapson 235

Rapson 305

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are there other printing options outside of the College of Design?

Yes. There are public computer labs on campus, and University Printing Services. Commercial print shops are also a possibility. However, these options typically result in a much higher cost than printing available through the College of Design.

What happens if my print job is not printed correctly?

You will need to see a lab attendant as soon as you notice a printing error. If the error is a result of a printer problem or other problem not resulting from user action, the lab attendant will re-print your document free of charge. Common printer problems include paper jams, ink splatters, or stripes.

Do your best to double-check your work before printing, especially if it is an expensive printout. We cannot give refunds for reprints unless due to a printer problem or something out of your control.

How can I minimize printing costs?

There are many things that lab users can do to reduce their printing costs without impacting their design activities.

Print Preview
This is a great feature offered by most programs at the computer labs. Print preview allows you to see how your pages will look prior to printing. Mistakes can often be seen and corrected before a single piece of paper is used.

Print Double-Sided
Double-sided (duplex) printing reduces waste and all of our laser printers have this feature available. Please see a lab attendant for assistance with double-sided printing.

Print Multiple Pages to a Single Sheet
Virtually all applications allow you to print more than one page to a single sheet. Doing so allows a document that might normally require 20 sheets to be printed on five sheets with four pages per sheet. This is an excellent option if you happen to be printing out notes for class.

Print Only What You Need
If you don't need an entire document, identify which pages you need using the "print preview" feature and then selectively print only those pages.

How will I pay for my prints?

Students pay for prints using their GopherGOLD account (which is accessed via your UCard). This allows students to easily manage funds online and have real time access to their account. For more information about the GopherGOLD program, visit the UCard Office website.

Where do I go with questions about UCard charges?

All inquiries about charges made on your GopherGOLD account must be taken up with the UCard Office.