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Re: [PPLetterpress] Material to make large printing blocks

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  • Lamsland
    I ve been looking into CO2 laser engraving systems. Looks to be a great solution. You could make wood or metal plates. Very precise, lots of control and
    Message 1 of 24 , May 5, 2008
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      I've been looking into CO2 laser engraving systems. Looks to be a
      great solution. You could make wood or metal plates. Very precise,
      lots of control and horribly expensive. The company that makes an
      affordable smaller laser engraver will have a whole market to
      themselves I think.


      Matthew "LAMMY" Lamoureux
      Full Metal Press - Operis servo a specialis nundinae

      On May 3, 2008, at 6:33 PM, Erik Desmyter wrote:

      > I have also been experimenting with a CNC-router to make large size
      > blocks
      > or plates to print from on on my traditional iron handpresses. I
      > can say
      > that this computer to plate technology has some potential &
      > limitations and
      > there are many variables & tolerances in tools, software, material
      > & machine
      > which make everything rather complex. The X, Y, Z axis feed speeds,
      > the
      > router speed, the flatness of the material (no bowing allowed), the
      > angle &
      > sharpness of the routing bits and the 3-dimensional software
      > working from 3D
      > vectors isn't easy in combination with the specifics of letterpress
      > type &
      > inking.
      >
      > I experimented with different materials and had the best results with
      > expensive materials like Corian (acrylic stone) but working in wood
      > is fun
      > but challenging as every kind of wood has different
      > characteristics. Routing
      > speeds should be lower to avoid heating up or burning the wood but
      > avoiding
      > a burr or damaged edges isn't always easy because high routing
      > speeds just
      > give the best sharp edges. Similar story on the X, Y & Z speeds,
      > when you go
      > too fast quality goes down and when you go to slow the wood gets
      > dark and
      > starts to heat up. And making a large plate with slow speeds takes
      > hours...
      > I have just made a small movie and some photos on an experiment in
      > beech,
      > see links below.
      >
      > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk4QmaU4JIg
      >
      > http://www.flickr.com/photos/desmyter1856/sets/72157604867473339/
      >
      > For very large plates I guess a good quality MDF would be good but
      > I haven't
      > tested this yet. I am always interested in experiences from other
      > folks
      > working in this direction with CNC technology.
      >
      > Best regards,
      > Erik Desmyter
      > Gent, Belgium
      > erik.desmyter@...
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "briannqueen" <BQueen@...>
      > To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 3:35 PM
      > Subject: [PPLetterpress] Material to make large printing blocks
      >
      > I own a CNC router (computer numerical control) which simply put is a
      > router controlled by a computer. I plan on using my machine to make
      > large wood blocks, as large as four feet by eight feet and smaller
      > ones
      > for my Vandercook SP15 press. We plan on printing the 4' x 8' prints
      > using a steam roller at a public event. I'm looking for help in
      > determining the best wood or printing surface for this purpose. I
      > could
      > use ordinary plywood of course, but it has a grain and leaves a burr.
      > Can anyone recommend a plastic that may be suitable? Detail on the
      > very
      > largest blocks is less of a concern but I want fine detail on the
      > smaller blocks. I'm aware of Resingrave which would be perfect except
      > that it would be much too expensive for the size of quantity I will be
      > using. I considered acrylic but it's kind of brittle and a pain to
      > machine. I figure there must be some kind of polymer out there that
      > will do the trick and not dissolve during cleanup. Any help would be
      > appreciated!
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • briannqueen
      Erik, I was excited to see your post about this new material that was thick enough to be planed down to type high. The website showed what appeared to be a
      Message 2 of 24 , May 8, 2008
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        Erik,
        I was excited to see your post about this new material that was
        thick enough to be planed down to type high. The website showed what
        appeared to be a solid dense plastic, so I quickly found the
        distributor and then a store that sold the product, but unfortunately
        it's not suitable for printing. It's most common use is as a
        replacement for lumber to make decks, one side is smooth while the
        other side has a faux wood grain finish, however even the smooth side
        is covered with very fine pits. It appears as though it's a mixture
        of plastic and sawdust or some kind of filler to reduce costs, but it
        was worth a try!

        Brian


        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Erik Desmyter"
        <erik.desmyter@...> wrote:
        >
        > Brian,
        >
        > I normally start with an end mill which works only in X & Y on a
        depth of
        > for example 5mm and this one takes away most material and does
        first the
        > rough work. In the last finishing step I use a 60 degree V-bits for
        all the
        > edges and fine details and this one goes three dimensional X, Y &
        Z because
        > you need the fragile sharp top of the V-bit to cut out the sharp
        edges and
        > small details. I use several softwares including signmaking
        software very
        > similar to ArtCam to finally come to a WinPC-NC file on which this
        > CNC-router runs.
        >
        > Buying large panels of new Corian is indeed a problem but some
        authorized
        > fabricators are selling their scrap on eBay at reduced prices and
        some less
        > popular colors can go really cheap. In Europe there are some
        companies where
        > you can order cut to size panels in all the different colors but
        this is
        > still expensive. Another possibility could be 1 ¼" thick PVC which
        is used
        > as a replacement for wood like this AZEK To Mill (ATM) which is
        made in
        > sheet sizes of 4 ft x 8 ft:
        > http://www.azek.com/viewProduct.php?id=12
        > I don't know this ATM material here in Europe and haven't tested it
        but it
        > looks interesting at first sight and is probably cheaper than
        Corian.
        >
        > Regards,
        > Erik
      • lamsland1@comcast.net
        Just had a wild thought, What about Delrin? Plastic metal substitute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyoxymethylene check out the part about machining. It may
        Message 3 of 24 , May 9, 2008
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          Just had a wild thought, What about Delrin? Plastic metal substitute.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyoxymethylene

          check out the part about machining.

          It may be on the pricey side for large sheets though.



          -------------- Original message ----------------------
          From: "briannqueen" <BQueen@...>
          > Erik,
          > I was excited to see your post about this new material that was
          > thick enough to be planed down to type high. The website showed what
          > appeared to be a solid dense plastic, so I quickly found the
          > distributor and then a store that sold the product, but unfortunately
          > it's not suitable for printing. It's most common use is as a
          > replacement for lumber to make decks, one side is smooth while the
          > other side has a faux wood grain finish, however even the smooth side
          > is covered with very fine pits. It appears as though it's a mixture
          > of plastic and sawdust or some kind of filler to reduce costs, but it
          > was worth a try!
          >
          > Brian
          >
          >
          > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Erik Desmyter"
          > <erik.desmyter@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Brian,
          > >
          > > I normally start with an end mill which works only in X & Y on a
          > depth of
          > > for example 5mm and this one takes away most material and does
          > first the
          > > rough work. In the last finishing step I use a 60 degree V-bits for
          > all the
          > > edges and fine details and this one goes three dimensional X, Y &
          > Z because
          > > you need the fragile sharp top of the V-bit to cut out the sharp
          > edges and
          > > small details. I use several softwares including signmaking
          > software very
          > > similar to ArtCam to finally come to a WinPC-NC file on which this
          > > CNC-router runs.
          > >
          > > Buying large panels of new Corian is indeed a problem but some
          > authorized
          > > fabricators are selling their scrap on eBay at reduced prices and
          > some less
          > > popular colors can go really cheap. In Europe there are some
          > companies where
          > > you can order cut to size panels in all the different colors but
          > this is
          > > still expensive. Another possibility could be 1 �" thick PVC which
          > is used
          > > as a replacement for wood like this AZEK To Mill (ATM) which is
          > made in
          > > sheet sizes of 4 ft x 8 ft:
          > > http://www.azek.com/viewProduct.php?id=12
          > > I don't know this ATM material here in Europe and haven't tested it
          > but it
          > > looks interesting at first sight and is probably cheaper than
          > Corian.
          > >
          > > Regards,
          > > Erik
          >
          >
          >
          >




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