One year ago, the laser on my 3011 failed. Replacement costs were anywhere from $18,000 used to $60,000 new on a part that could fail again at any time.
I had enough and bought a Noritsu D701 dry lab.
For those considering a change here is a quick pro and cons list of my last year with the D701.
FYI - I have a full service photo printing retail store in a mall with 4 kiosks.
• Staff can easily use it and maintain it
• Small footprint
• Reduced electricity costs
• Customers really do like these higher chroma prints much better than from 3011
• Same software but with enhanced feature set (long overdue) from 3011
• Newer CPU can load extremely large files much quicker
• Customers (and I) like the semi-goss (lustre) paper.
• Printer terminal can be on store front desk, printer in back. Very Very Handy.
• Quick start up and close down. Not much needs to be done.
• An obvious one. No more chemistry!
• Low warranty cost
• Paper changing OK but not as quick as a magazine switch on 3011
• Ink smudging issues is creating more and more loss lately, and unsightly ink smudges on back of prints. Need increasingly regular cleaning of print plate and rollers.
• Cost of print hasn't come down in the last year, very little profit in 4x6 printing as a result.
• Software can be buggy. ie. if you have too many previous jobs in the "processed" queue, sometimes the software will get lost and you need to remove all, clean up and restart at the worst possible time.
• Can sometimes be annoyingly slow between print tasks to start printing again.
• Software won't let you write directly to DVD-R, only CD-R or DVD-RAM
• During my Christmas rush I do miss the speed of the 3011 but really not a big issue with a good print process management.
• When you are out of ink, you are so screwed! With the 3011 you could still run perfectly with watered down chemicals. My cyan was listed at 25%, 360 prints later it was empty, on a Thursday evening, thus I had to order more ink on the Friday "rushed" for Monday delivery - no printer for 3 1/2 days. Don't believe the ink levels when less than 25% or always have a spare set of inks (an obvious thing but not easy when you only charge 25¢ a print).
• Noritsu currently seems to be having some internal problems, service/ordering use to be great but has recently taken an obvious hit. I expect Noritsu may become part of Fuji soon. It is a shame, but maybe the paper and ink costs will come down as a result…. One can be hopeful.
All in all, I would make the switch again.