Re: [PPLetterpress] Laser cutting questions
- I don't know the details, but flexo printers use such a system for cutting
relief plates in rubber. I just talked to one this past week who called for
assistance with their Vandercook, as even though the plates are cut direct
from a computer file, errors still creep in and it is far better to catch
errors at the plate stage than to be on press, or print the job and then
find the mistake.
Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
----- Original Message -----
From: "Katie Harper" <knharper@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 5:17 PM
Subject: [PPLetterpress] Laser cutting questions
I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost
effective, and c) can laser cutters read the usual types of graphics files
that service bureaus can, ie, Quark, Illustrator, etc.? I'm told that some
laser cutters work from a CAD environment, and there is not much available
in CAD software for Mac, is there?
Thanks for any help/advice.
Ars Brevis Press
- Hi David
When we had originally discussed this that was a suggestion of mine. I
think it would work well for this purpose. But as others have mentioned
it is quite expensive. There is one at an institution I work for and we
are billed something like $80 per hour for usage (which is probably
cheap?). And these don't exactly cut all that fast. I doubt you could
invest in laser cutting equipment unless you were daddy warbucks or
something. Prices are somewhat astronomical and they are high
maintenance. There are signage shops and the like that use these and I
suspect that jobbing the work out wouldn't hurt too much ($$$)?
But given the costs I wouldn't think you'd want to create an entire font
though it might work well as a way to replace missing characters that
you just can't live without. Its really just a matter of getting the
finished piece to type high. Laser cutters don't cut all that deep, or
perhaps I should say it this way, the deeper the laser has to cut the
slower it goes.
We would do the outlines (which the laser follows) in Illustrator and
those would be imported into Corel, which is the software that ran the
lasers. I was thinking of making my door sign with this stuff but never
got around to it.
David Goodrich wrote:
>The laser process doesn't seem like a practical alternative to photopolymer
>for creating new text plates from computer files, but it sounds as if it
>could be perfect for producing replicas of missing letters or additional
>sorts for wood type fonts. Has anyone used it for this?
>Are there shops where something like this could be jobbed out? I would not
>want to invest in laser equipment to produce a handful of letters.
>>I seem to remember a discussion awhile back about some people who were
>>experimenting with laser cutting as a way to get relief plates, as opposed
>>to polymer. I'm wondering if a)it works for letterpress; b)it's at all cost
>it is quite expensive. There is one at an institution I work for and weOur rate is much cheaper but I'm not sure about sign guys in general.
>are billed something like $80 per hour for usage (which is probably
I think $75 to $80 is about right.
>But given the costs I wouldn't think you'd want to create an entire fontYou still need an outline. If the letter was completely missing you'd
>though it might work well as a way to replace missing characters that
have to recreate it keeping the overall weight of the alphabet in
mind. Once the outline is done you could make a vector cut very
quickly (well under 3 minutes per letter) out of 1/4 inch maple.
Perhaps this could be mounted to a block so its type high. If you
were to raster the same letter it would take much longer--maybe 15 or
20 minutes per letter.
There are computer driven engraving machines that might do a better
job. Roland makes one and some Sherline milling machines are also cad
If you are making this available as a service would you like me to
place entries in the Links section and the Database?
Like your website, and the free font Rant!!!
> Our rate is much cheaper but I'm not sure about sign guys in general.
> I think $75 to $80 is about right.