How do I print a poster?


BME has recently changed its policies for poster printing. Print jobs within the department, or for those working with a BME faculty member, will no longer be charged any fee for printing. However, printing from outside the department without a BME affiliation will no longer be permitted.

Apply for Access

Please give at least 24 hours notice (preferably more!) when you need to print a poster, as this allows time for approval, and also provides defense against Murphy's Law. We will do our best to accommodate printing requests as they come, but we cannot guarantee a specific turn-around if help is needed due to problems with printing, PDF creation, etc.

First, email with:

  • your Kerberos username
  • your PI and Center name
  • the BME faculty member you're working with, if you're from outside of BME
  • the number of full-size pages you want to print and their width/height in inches

Next go to Zaius and request card access for "ERA/MEB 211." If you've already been approved by someone, this next request should go through automatically within an hour or so of applying. Otherwise someone will need to review your email request and then approve your card access request. Access expires after a few weeks, so you will need to re-apply for later print jobs.

You can go ahead and make your poster now, but you cannot print until you've been added to the permissions list and received card access.

Make your Poster

Make your poster into a PDF -- it's easiest to use regular "letter" size for your PDF, and let Acrobat automatically scale up it up to poster size at print time to 36x46" as mentioned below. (Or, you can generate the PDF as a 36x46.6" page, but the procedure to do this varies depending on your publishing software.) We strongly recommend using the free CutePDF Writer from, and you should change the "advanced" settings to 600 dpi or perhaps higher to improve graphics resolution after scaling. If using a full version of Acrobat to generate the PDF, make sure to change its settings to "high quality" or "for press" instead of the standard. If you are creating a PDF for a poster that you do *not* want to be 36x46", please see this link. This is more complicated, so we recommend sticking to 36x46" if you can.

Our paper options are:

  • 36" wide glossy
  • 42" wide matte


The printer is located in 48 Cummington Street, room 211 (use your card for access). You can log in on the computer next to the printer and print your poster from there. Open the .pdf file by right clicking on it and "Open with" and select Google Chrome from the list, make sure all the formatting came out as expected, and also zoom far into the graphics in your poster to make sure that the resolution is high enough for your liking. If the PDF doesn't look good on your screen, it won't look good on the printer, so regenerate it at a higher resolution or experiment with settings from your publishing software and make sure you end up with a PDF that you like.

Now hit "Ctrl - Shift - P" with in Google Chrome. This will open the print options in Google Chrome. Here, you want to select BME Poster Printer from the list of available printers and then click on Preferences. Make sure the size is set to 36" x 46.6" instead of Default Size (Letter). Click "OK" on the Preferences Window to close out of it and then click "Print". If you want to do a test print, leave the settings as is for "letter" size. To do your poster-size print, go to the "properties" dialog within the print dialog, and in the upper left-hand corner under "quick sets", select "36x46.6" poster.

Click OK to print. Please wait 30 minutes before rolling your poster--the ink can smear even after the 5 minute drying time that the printer imposes.


Contact ENG-IT at or 617-353-5303 for the problems below.

If a user is experiencing issues with the poster printing to one small corner of the page, swap the Length and the Width of the page properties, which is found in page setup.

Out of paper

There should be extras available above the printer; lift the blue lever on the right side of the printer and follow the directions to load a new roll. If none are available, contact us.

Out of ink

If the printer is only complaining about the ink levels but things still looks OK on paper, let it finish normally and just let us know that it's low. If it refuses to print or prints with faded colors, contact us.

Eng-IT: BME/PosterPrint (last edited 2013-08-09 10:53:32 by navgupta)