It is now a norm to use A3 paper when printing design drawings as it has so many economic advantages. Firstly, A3 printers are now very affordable, even for colored laser printers. The cost of even the most expensive A3 printer is nothing compared to the cheapest A0 or A1 plotter. Multi-function A3 printers can also double as copier or fax machine reducing the total investment cost.
Secondly, A3 papers are cheap and can be bought even from the supermarket. Rolls are not specialized paper which are only sold at speciliaized stores.
Thirdly, storage and handling of A3 papers are much easier than big paper sizes. A3 paper occupies less space and much easier to handle.
The advantages of printing design drawing are enormous that it now became a norm in the industry. Even the big EPCM companies use A3 papers in printing their design drawings.
What disadvantages does it have? Viewing from the opinion of an Electrical Engineer who checkS hundreds of drawings every day, the A3 printing is a torture. Why?
Design drawings are normally created using A1 size paper. All texts and blocks are sized to suit the A1 size paper. When this design drawing is now printed in A3 size paper, the text and block sizes are now 25% the size if printed on A1 size paper. A 5mm text will now be 1.25mm. A 4mm text is 1mm, and for fine prints which are usually 3.5mm, this will now be a tiny 0.9mm in size.
Original printed document may not be an issue, however, once this drawing is photocopied, the problem occurs. Fine text will now become bolder making it totally unreadable.
For designers, this is not a probkem but for checkers, it is a big issue.