Process

The process of creating photopolymer prints from different brands of photopolymer plates is very similar, although each brand of plate has its own individual processing requirements. For basic steps to create a photopolymer plate, see below.

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1.Prepare a film positive for an intaglio print or a film negative for a relief print. Drawings, photocopies and laser or inkjet prints on transparent film may all be used. 2.With a soft brush, talc the film on the emulsion or side which will face the plate. This prevents the film from sticking to the plate during exposure.
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3.Cutting a photopolymer plate requires two tools. Firstly, a design knife is used to cut through the polymer. Then a draw tool (Olfa-P 450) scores through to the metal backing of the plate. The plate can then be bent along the score line until it separates. You can cut plates in a room that does not have any daylight coming in from windows and doorways. Alternatively, cut your plates at night, under fluorescent or incandescent lights. 4. Remove the cover film from the plate and place it in the bin. Cover films may contain small amounts of photopolymer residues. They should not be reused. You can work with plates in a room that does not have any daylight coming in from windows and doorways. You can work with fluorescent or incandescent lights on.
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5. A reading from a stouffer wedge is useful for determining the exposure time in any UV unit or the amount of UV in sunlight at any given time of day. 6. Cut the film slightly smaller than the plate. Place the film image or emulsion side towards the plate. Ensure that there is good contact between the film and the plate. You can expose in the sun. Put the exposure frame in a box, place in full sun, time your exposure, then cover or place back in a box, and take inside for wash-out.
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7. Cut the film slightly smaller than the plate. Place the film image or emulsion side towards the plate. Ensure that there is good contact between the film and the plate. Expose in a UV exposure unit. 8. Remove the exposed plate from the exposure frame or unit. You will see a faint indication of the image on the plate. Put your film away in a safe place in case you need to reuse it.
» Wash-out and Inking for a Relief Print
» Wash-out and Inking for a Intaglio Print
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