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    Daniel commented  · 

    In this case I re-saved the AI with 'separate AI file for each artboard' checked. So the biggest single file i sent through the RIP was 2GB. It took about 2 mins to send to the printer via ethernet.

    I agree that 300dpi is overkill for a rooftop sign, but often I will do interior wall prints in shops which are 2.4m high and anywhere from 2 - 8m long, so they need to be 300dpi. Working at scale 10:1 scale and then upsizing it in the RIP software is perfectly fine for 100% vector artwork, although not really necessary because the file size is small enough that the save time is bearable. Working at scale with embedded raster images would mean my 300dpi embedded PSD files would be printing at 30dpi.

    Saving large files isn't the only thing that takes ages because the cpu isn't utilised efficiently. 3D effects, complex blur effects, rasterizing and transparency flattening can also take 1 - 5 minutes at 20% cpu load.

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    Daniel commented  · 

    I uploaded a screenshot of the file's workspace so you can see why it's not really appropriate to use a separate file for each artboard. The 20mm bleed overlaps the adjacent artboards in order to allow for any discrepancy between the printed size and the ACP panel size.

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    Daniel commented  · 

    oh.. and the printer's standard quality setting is 600dpi, but unless its a sign/print which will be visible at close range I usually export raster images at 300dpi.

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    Daniel commented  · 

    The 5GB AI file in question is a 4.2m x 1.8m print for a rooftop shop sign. It's comprised of 4 overlapping artboards so that the print is split into four panels to suit the size of the ACP sheets it will be stuck to.

    The background is a linked PSD which is tiled about 16 times or something. Theres a layer with a few vectors (some have a drop shadow), the background layer and a print marks layer. This file is roughly 200mb and the PSD is 300mb.

    In order to export to a file which will print in my windows based 'HP Flexi Print & Cut' printer software I have to either rasterize or flatten transparency effects, and embed any linked files. This makes it blow out to 5GB.

    When i'm working with the file I either have the rasterized /embedded layers hidden and don't embed and linked files until the end, so its fine to work with. Flattening transparency can take a few saves before you get an exported print ready file with no random artifacts, so its quite annoying waiting 5 minutes between each one. It took about 15 minutes when I exported this particular file with 'separate AI file for each artboard' selected.

    Please go ahead and let me know if there is a correct/efficient way for me to do this ;)

    Daniel supported this idea  · 
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    Daniel commented  · 

    I have a 2017 iMac with a 4.2ghz i7 cpu, 32GB of ram and SSD is formatted with APFS so a 5gb file can be written to the drive 40 seconds.

    It is ridiculous to wait 5 minutes for a 5GB illustrator file to save, when there is 15GB of ram available and while it's saving, the CPU load never goes above 20%.

    If Illustrator used the CPU efficiently then I would be happy to go back to a paid subscription,

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