What is a RIP?
RIP stands for Raster Image Processor.
A RIP program is similar to the print driver included with your printer, but with much more control (and features). A RIP is designed to handle many files, file types, and file sizes without limiting your print capabilities. A RIP efficiently processes your files faster and more consistently, resulting in faster print times and less waiting. Have you ever tried to run a large image where the file size was more than 300MB? Through the standard print driver, this can be cumbersome and time consuming. With a dedicated program designed to process large files, this task becomes much easier and allows you to work on other projects while your image is processing. You will also have the capability of processing and printing multiple files simultaneously. A RIP also will store all of your processed data (the files that you’ve printed), making reprints a breeze. Most RIP programs include ICC profiling capabilities, so no additional software is needed to create your own custom ICC profiles (you’ll still need a spectrophotometer).
You may also be interested to learn more about colour profiles by reading this article