Photo etch artwork print shop questions
Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:00 PM
The problem is that photo film, which used to be the standard of the printing industry, is disappearing fast, as it replaced by CTP (computer-to-plate) in print-shops. With CTP, the offset plates are hit directly by the laser beam of the « printer ».
Kodak have stopped producing photo-film. (They have also closed down their European operation that sold photo-sensitive resin in 2017). For the time being, Fuji and Agfa still produce photo films, but I am not sure how long this will last ... As for the dedicated machines that used to insolate the film, the last new-built one (at least in the Westen world) was produced about 8 years ago ...
For my business, I still use these photo films. And I cherish my insolation machine. I bought 3 second-hand ones in the last 5 years, which did not last very long unfortunately ...
So, try to find an old-fashioned printer who still produces photo films. I invoice about 35 € excluding VAT, for an A4 film ...
- Rainer Hoffmann likes this
Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:16 PM
I bought the Samsung C1810W laserprinter.
I did some tinkering and god some decent prints on some Avery 3491 film.
Here is a pic of my print (the black square is 44 x 31 mm)
I don't know if the matte Avery paper will work with the pureetch foil that i am using , but i will keep this thread updated.
Edited by Mebo, 16 January 2018 - 03:19 PM.
Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:21 PM
I have some film coming for both my laser and inkjet printers to do a comparison with. I'll post the results once I've done some tests.
God luck, Chuck.
- Mebo likes this
Posted 17 January 2018 - 08:22 AM
I am thinking that maybe a photo printer (the one with additional cartridges like "photo black", as Epson do with some of their inkjet printers) could yield additional results, with a better density of black.
Posted 17 January 2018 - 03:19 PM
I agree. It also sounds like using inkjet film for silkscreening gives greater density to the negative, so I have some on order to try.
Posted 24 January 2018 - 01:45 AM
After doing some tests, neither my laser or inkjet printers were able to give me the resolution I need to produce sharp artwork for photo etching. I did a bunch more reading on the subject and found out that what I need is an industrial photo plotter (in the 16,000 dpi range!) Being that I don't have an extra $20,000 dollars laying around to buy my own photo plotter, I've contacted several shops that offer these type of printing services for photo etching.
If that ends up being too costly, does anyone have any other ideas on where I can have artwork printed onto clear film at 9600 dpi or higher for a reasonable cost?
Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:46 PM
Found an old do it yourself photo etch article by a fellow named Wojtek Fajga. It in he mentions using a imagesetter service for having high detailed prints done for use in photo etching. After much searching I found a print shop out of Texas that is sending me a test print for inspection before I have future artwork done up by them.
Fingers crossed they are able to offer what I'm looking for!
Posted 02 February 2018 - 05:47 AM
My sample print came in the mail the other day and my initial excitement turned to dissapointment when I had a closer look at the images under a microscope. What looked like sharp items to the naked eye turned out to be jagged pixelated items under magnification.
The shop send me images printed at 1200 dpi which after more research turns out to be much too low a resolution for photo etch work.
In order to be able to print images with a minimum cross section of .3mm (which is the smallest you can etch onto .1” thick brass) you need a printer with a resolution of 10,000 dpi! Yes you read that correctly (and no I didn’t hit the zero button a couple of times too many).
The good news is I’m corresponding with photoplotting print shops who are able to offer print jobs at this higher dpi setting for a reasonable cost.
Once I have more to report I’ll post something here.
- LSP_Kevin likes this
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