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Can a default printer be set just for ArcMap?
No. ArcMap uses the Microsoft standard print pipeline, which uses the default printer set in the Windows control panel.
A workaround exists for individual MXDs:
In the Page and Print setup dialog box, check 'Use Printer Paper Settings'. This causes ArcMap to save printer and page size information for this MXD specific to the selected printer. Each time that the MXD is opened, the printer settings are automatically applied.