If anyone else out there is running an HP T7100 plotter with Autocad and utilizes custom paper sizes, I could really use your help!
Our previous setup included HP 4000 and HP 5500 series plotters. (In the past we have also utilized the 120 and 750 series.) For each of these plotters I was able to create custom paper sizes, by creating unique PC3 and PMP files for each size required. These files are stored on a central location on our server, read and write protected (except for admin), and shared out to drafting staff. These custom paper sizes and setups are also saved to several standard template files. No problems whatsoever.
* All drafting staff are using identical computer setups. Windows 7 / Civil 3D 2012 / Adobe / Microsoft Office / etc. *
The Current Issue:
We have recently purchased an HP Designjet T7100 HPGL2 plotter. Downloaded and installed the "HP Designjet T7100 Series HP-GL/2 and HP RTL Driver" to the server. Shared the plotter via the network, it can be installed and prints test pages and PDF files with no issues.
Problem #1: When I follow the exact same steps as before, to create custom paper sizes (PC3 and PMP), for example: I create a PC3 and PMP file for a 17" x 36" paper size. Set the margins, filter the list to only include the 1 paper size and save the files, everthing looks good. When I create the next size, 17" x 40", it also appears to save correclty. BUT, when I go back to my 17" x 36", the custom paper size list now has the 17" x 40" paper size attached. And as I continue creating new sizes, they continue to attach themselves to the previously created sizes. I only want 1 paper size per file.
Problem #2: When these files are shared out to different users, they can find the PC3 file in the list, but come up with the error message "The device driver specified in the PC3 file cannot be found". Since these files are read and write protected, they are unable to save any changes. As I mentioned earlier, I have never had this issue with previous models.
Problem #3: I revised the permissions on the PC3 and PMP folders so all users had full access. They are now able to pick the proper PC3 file, with no error message. BUT, the custom paper sizes do not show up in the list. When I check the PC3 file, it has the proper PMP file attached for the paper size.
I have tried saving all the custom paper sizes to the base HP T7100 PC3 and PMP file. But still have the same issue when sharing to other users. They can pick the plotter, but do not see the paper sizes that were created.
I have also tried installing the plotter locally to the same end.
Solved! Go to Solution.
This may or may not help explain what is happening. I wouldn't think that creating custom paper sizes in a PMP file would do anything to the system printer that your PC3 file was created from, but this may explain the problem. When we upgraded to Windows 7 64bit we downloaded new drivers for the HP Designjet Z6100. I went through my same process to create new PC3 files as I did for the 32bit drivers. I didn't use PMP files but added custom paper sizes through the custom properties in the PC3 file. This worked for our 5500 and 1055 drivers but did not work for the Z6100 driver. I could get them setup and would work properly on my PC but then tried to use them on another PC to only find the same errors that you did. Either the PC3 file would not find the system printer driver or would not display the custom paper sizes. I contact HP through our regional sale rep and talked to one of the driver engineers. They told me the newer devices are using a driver that stores the custom paper sizes locally on each PC. This is how they plan to develop the drivers for all the new Designjets.
I am currently setting up my PC3 files for 2013 and will be doing testing next week so I will know then if we run into the same problem as you have.
Civil 3D 2013
I also got the same response from HP. That for all the new 'multi-roll' designjet plotters, the drivers are designed to store a lot more information to the local PC. Making it necessary for all users to have their own, individual set of pc3 and pmp files.
My supplier has put me in touch with 2 other companies using the T7100 and Autocad. So far, they have had the same issues, and have been giving each user thier own set of files (as mentioned above). Since this is not an option my company is willing to explore (we have worked too hard to establish our standards and templates and have locked them down for a reason), I continue to search for a solution.
If this is how HP is going to design all future plotters, I may have to consider a different brand of plotter.
Have you tested without PC3 file? If I install the HP dirver locally the plotter works with AutoCAD.
I have plotted just using Windows driver without PC3 file.
If I add the print queue from the print server the AutoCAD prints error message:
Error: This plotter configuration cannot be used for one of these reasons: the driver cannot be found,
the device cannot be found, or the driver has a problem. The None plot device has been substituted.
Printer works OK with other CAD and Office programs but not with AutoCAD. Tested 2010 and 2012 versions.
I also want the driver support custom paper sizes. And these must be copied from print server to clients.
I want to create custom paper size on the print server just once. Adding the queue to client should
also add the custom paper sizes form the print server. HP should learn from OCE Windows print driver.
When you make the custom paper sizes for the HP T7100 Windows queue have you looked where this
information is saved?
I have tested once Canon plotter with similar problems. In this case I just copied the custom size setup files manually from the print server to each client.
I will do also PC3 file with custom size. Let's see what happens with my setup.
My solution to the problem... use an older driver.
As a last ditch effort, I tried using the driver for the HP 5500 designjet, and it worked. The driver for the HP 4500 designjet also works, but I found it has issues all it's own, which is a discussion for another day.
I was able to create the pc3 and pmp files I needed. Have them stored in a secure folder on our server and share the files to our users with no issues. The T7100 is smart enough to determine which roll of paper it needs to use, without having that option set in the pmp file.
The only issue you may run into, is that you cannot view the plotter settings via your internet. The settings need to be set/changed at the plotter itself. This is not a problem for my company, so we are happy with this outcome.
While this is not the 'proper' fix, it works. Until the time, far, far, far in the future, when HP and Autodesk can learn to work together.
Suffering this problem right now. I do dislike getting a new model printer, always seems to be something challenging.
2008r2 print server, w7x64 clients, t7100, c3d2012, ldd2009. Cannot make a pc3 file without a visual-c runtime error and/or cannot select the pc3 in the plot dialogue without a not found error. I've made so many iterations and slept since then, that I've forgotten where i was. but trial-n-error today reveals...
sharing the t7100-GL2 from a w7x64, to a w7x64, works for c3d2012. the 2008 prn install is using a std ip port, not the auto or wds port. the w7x64 box is able to make the pc3, modify it, and plot.
sharing the t7100-GL2 from a 2003r2 x32, to a w7x64, works for c3d2012. the 2003 prn install is using a std ip port, not the auto or wds port. x32 driver, then add the x64 driver. the w7x64 box is able to make the pc3, modify it, and plot.
caveat, this testing is being done with local user = admin, not our default limited user. we'll hope that doesn't become an issue if/when the 2008r2 and w7x64 combo gets resolved.
I think that I have a solution to your problem.
I am a CAD Manager and we use the HP-T7100 plotters. We have the plotter driver installed via print server on our network and is shared for all CAD users. We like you have multiple custom sheet sizes that are needed. Also, we are similar to you “Windows 7 / Civil 3D 2009, 2011, 2012 / MS Office / Bluebeam instead of Adobe… I have 40+ folks in this office and I provide support for about 7 other offices in the Southeast.
What I have done is created the custom sheet sizes first on my (admin) system printer. Then, I created the *.pc3/*.pmp using the sheets that are on my system printer. I then edited the *.pc3/*.pmp settings for margins and various other settings such as filtering out standard sheets sizes that we do not use. The *.pc3/*.pmp is stored like you on a centrally located spot on the server, read and write protected (except for admin, which is myself).
In order for others to use the custom *.pc3/*.pmp that is created, the exact sheets sizes that the admin creates has to be added to the CAD users system printer in the same order in which the admin added them or the sheet sizes will not match what is displayed for the CAD user when plotting using the *.pc3/*.pmp. That is why you are having the problem #2. Let me reiterate, EACH person has to have the same custom sheet sizes and the same order in which they were created by the admin who creates the *.pc3/*.pmp.
We even went as far as creating the custom sheet sizes on the print server thinking that folks would be able to see the sizes but, folks could not see the custom sizes and got the same error message as you. This should fix “Problem #3 as well.
If you read HP’s documentation, any custom sheet sizes are unique to the system printer that is on the local machine and cannot be shared with others. With that said, the creation of the *pc3/*.pmp is directly tied to the custom settings on the creator’s (admin) system settings. But, by adding the same custom sheets to other users, will allow other to see the custom sheet files when plotting using the *.pc3.