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618Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: laser engraving

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  • Neil Giroux
    Jun 3, 2002
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      Page 2. I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop
      for some time to cut .50 copper matrices from digital type
      programs for use in a hand-casting mould. The process work fine
      (mostly) but tends to be somewhat costly. And the learning curve
      for the machinist is a bit steep, too.

      bielerpr wrote:

      > --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Bryce Erickson <beric8@s...> wrote:
      >
      > > Gerald and Group -
      > >
      > > Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop
      > would be of
      > > interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing
      > potential of laser
      > > engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no
      > knowledge of
      > > print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer
      > side, is
      > > engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the
      > commercial side,
      > > engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial
      > number plates
      > > to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an
      > engraver willing
      > > to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use
      > claims to be able
      > > to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do
      > halftone
      > > engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw
      > were photo
      > > positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the
      > engaver in a fume
      > > hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators.
      > I have printed
      > > images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density)
      > plastic and on wood
      > > called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.
      > >
      > > Bryce Erickson
      > > Saskatoon SK Canada
      > >
      >
      > Dear Bryce
      >
      > Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how
      > successful were you on printing with these materials say
      > compared
      > to metal type or photopolymer?
      >
      >
      > I'd agree with what you have to say here, which I am singularly
      >
      > interpreting (perhaps mistakenly) as limited access to
      > technology and associated costs. On
      > the other hand, is this not the case with other printing
      > technologies
      > as well?
      >
      > As an example: Even though the artifacts of metal letterpress
      > are scattered like the
      > bones of buffalo across the vast plains of eBay that does not
      > mean
      > that this technology itself was cheaply accessible in its
      > commercial
      > heyday. The cost of new presses, casting equipment, foundry
      > type, etc
      > was quite prohibitive. If you were to try and have a typeface
      > cast in
      > foundry type today you would find you would probably have to
      > appeal
      > to the singular likes of a Theo Rehak and the associated costs
      > would
      > also be quite prohibitive. And Theo can only do so much as he
      > himself
      > is limited to the yet available manufactured elements that were
      >
      > required to make the whole process produce a single piece of
      > type.
      >
      > I believe this applies in a not disimilar fashion to digital
      > type as
      > well. A well drawn technically functional typeface is quite
      > expensive
      > to undertake. I know, I had to have a quite complex face
      > commissioned
      > as part of a project and it cost almost as much as one of those
      >
      > digital laser engravers. Had there been more than one purchaser
      >
      > obviously the price would drop down in parcelling it out. But
      > even in
      > this instance (taking into account the historical development
      > of software/hardware), it is quite clear to me that the single
      > resultant
      > product of any printing technology is the result of enormous
      > investment that the end consumer can rare imagine.
      >
      > For most of us here, letterpress is a hobby, for some a
      > semblance of a
      > livelihood, a few do well enough; but we do not represent a
      > viable
      > market for any of these technologies. At best all we are doing
      > is
      > picking up the scraps here and there, making this work with
      > that or that with this, and
      > deriving pleasure or other gain out of the undertaking. And
      > that is quite
      > an accomplishment.
      >
      > I am getting more and more folks providing me with laser
      > printed fake
      > negs pumped up with toner enhancing spray. Why? They don't want
      > to go
      > to the service bureau or can't afford to, or for the project
      > they
      > have in mind, don't feel it is warranted. And they have found
      > an
      > alternative that works well enough for what they are doing.
      >
      > There is
      > always a way, whether you take the low road or the high road,
      > you've going to get there; all you have to do is keep moving on
      > down that old "type road."
      >
      > All best
      >
      > Gerald
      >
      >
      >
      >
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