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ChuckT

Photo etch artwork print shop questions

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So I want to make some custom photo etch and I think I have a pretty good handle on the whole process. I've done up the artwork and have most everything I need to develop and etch the brass myself. I do have a laser printer, but it doesn't give me high enough DPI for the results I need. My next option is to get the artwork printed up by a print shop, but I'm not sure what to ask them when I call.

 

What type of printer should they have and how many DPI's does it need to be able to print at to give me the kind of results I'm looking for? Is there anything else I need to ask (besides cost of course) when I start phoning around?

 

I've searched everywhere and cant seem to find any info on this part of the process.

 

Thanks in advance, Chuck.

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Please post your findings here.

 

I am struggling with the exact same problem.

 

 

Thanks a lot

 

Cheers

 

Mikkel

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I’ve read PPD’s info and it was useful in helping me understand how to draw artwork that will work for photo etching.

 

It doesn’t how ever (understandably) answer my question regarding having artwork printed onto clear film if you want to do it yourself

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I’ve read PPD’s info and it was useful in helping me understand how to draw artwork that will work for photo etching.

 

It doesn’t how ever (understandably) answer my question regarding having artwork printed onto clear film if you want to do it yourself

 

Gotcha. Peter doesn't do his own photo-etching, and obviously hands that off to PPD. I'm not sure I've come across a comprehensive guide to doing it yourself. I'm sure there would be something out there, though, either online or in book form. If I can find an expert to write it, I'd happily publish an eBook on the topic!

 

Kev

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I’ve been searching and asking questions over the last couple of years and have slowly cobbled together my own guide to do it yourself photo etching.

 

The only missing piece is the printing part, thus my questions.

 

Once I get that part established, my plan is to do a test run, then share the info with anyone whose interested (assuming it all works out of course)!

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Definitely send the artwork to a commercial etcher. It's a right pain to do it yourself, and then you have some fairly unpleasant waste materials to dispose of.  When I need etchings, e-mail the files to PPD, a few days later get pristine etchings back. a No-Brainer, as far as I can see!!!

 

Usual disclaimers, no commercial links, just a very happy customer!!

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No, his company provides etched accessories as well as decals (which are all fantastic by the way!) so he knows how to layout and draw up the artwork for photo etching. He then send his artwork to PPD to get the actual etching done. From what I can tell, prices at PPD start at roughly $60 for a 6" x 12" sheet of etched copper (including shipping). Not bad if you have a full sheet of etching to get done, but pretty pricey if all you need is a small job.

 

After a ton of reading on the subject, I have figured out the process for doing your own etching. From the layout, drawing the art work, prepping the metal, photo resist application, developing and the actual etching itself.  

 

The only weak link being the printing of my artwork.

 

The Father of one of the new guys I work with owns a print shop (I just found out yesterday) and he has been answering a number of my questions. Once I clarify a few things (regarding printing artwork) and do a test run, I will share my results here.

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I understand what your saying. Having PPD do my etching does sound easier than doing it myself, but part of what appeals to me so much with this hobby is the challenge of trying to do as much as I can myself. Along with that is the issue of PPD's minimum price make it pretty expensive if all you need is smaller than 6" x 12" etched.

 

I already have everything needed for etching at home with the only week link being having my artwork printed onto clear film, so I want to give it a try.

 

Thanks for you advice,

Chuck.

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