I have been playing around with the possibility of printing in “rubber”. This is a flexible material (not actual rubber) that can be printed with the same machines that print our current Black-, White- and Transparent detail. I have generated a height map based on a picture (jpg or GIF) saved it and printed it…. Obviously this image can be made in any piece of software or just by taking picture of something you like t o make a stamp of... flowers, faces, structures,...
It takes some additional work after you have received the package at home but this opens up much more possibilities that go far beyond standard stamps.
I still need to optimize the process to get the best stamp possible. I just wanted to share this with you guys because it makes me really enthusiastic when I think about all new possibilities. For all clarity we currently do not yet offer this material but if you are interested in making your own stamp feel free to let me know I’ll keep you guys posted.
Very cool material! Can you tell us more about its properties? Using photopolymer stamps can be made in a similar manner, but 3d printing them opens a range of possibilities.. for instance, a continuous stamp on a cylindrical roller (well, that can be done traditionally but its hella hard).
The alternative is to print a reverse image in one of the detail materials and put some sculpey bend and bake on top....which is cheap and easy to cure and voila...stamp or mold for other sculpey/fimo polymer clay.
I know a variety of print makers that currently use a polymer material to transfer images and text from a digital file to plate for use in letter press printing. Your process sounds like it could be a much easier replacement for this process... have you experimented with images and text?
I'd like to know more about the versatility and pricing of this process.
A continuous stamp can indeed be quite funny and easier. You can print it in one piece or maybe mount a flat piece on something round.
I'll follow up on the material properties and let you know
@ John, nice stuff the Sculpy bend. Do you have any experience with it? How would it better suite for stamp creation?
Wrt more testing of images and text, I am working on it. As you can see in my post above there is an image I have tested. I have another image with an attempt to include greys. I'll give an update once final.
What do you mean with letter press printing? The tradition CTP process?
I don't follow how polymer clay can be made to have an image transferred into it, unless it is etched by hand?
Letterpress is a very specific type of printing where the image/art/type is impressed into the paper's surface. It's a good question, how do they create plates with images/art for that process? How do they get the image/art plates to have dimension enough to emboss into paper? Could this new approach be a cheaper replacement I wonder.
Peter, I have tried out that flexible sculpey stuff and have found it to be horrible. Perhaps I baked it incorrectly (even though I've had no problems baking super sculpey, ever) but parts would bend slightly and break off after some use. The images shown on the package where things are twisted several times over would be impossible and border on being fraudulent (again, unless I was doing it completely wrong).
Shelley, I think the idea is to print out your stamp in 3d in reverse, then stamp it into the sculpey clay to get a positive image which you can then bake and use as a stamp.
Metal plates for embossing can be created by masking off your image on a zinc, copper, or magnesium plate and applying acid to the surface to eat away at the unmasked areas. The masked area becomes the surface that is pressed into the paper to emboss/print on it.
As a replacement for existing stamp making processes I don't think 3d printing will hold up, given that stamps are 2d, but it's a cool use of the material anyway.
Thank you, bvicarious, If I read you correctly, embossing plates still require masking off by hand?
Second subject: I have to be more careful when I say 3d around 3d printing sites like this. I meant to ask about the dimensional raised areas on a rubber stamp not 3d as an object.
PS: I agree with you about rubbery Sculpy, not very flexible. Although more rubbery than their more rigid hard-bake style I guess.
I had those same issues with my first couple of bakes where items were brittle and would snap off. Experiment a bit with oven temperatures and times and you'll get it right...
Note that the bake & bend has different baking times (and maybe temperatures too) than the normal stuff. Its in the fine print [i read it the first time but yeah it took me like 3 goes before i got it right].
@shelley noble you can transfer an image as a mask. One way is to print the reverse onto glossy photo paper with a laser printer, place it face down on a metal plate and use an iron to fuse the toner to it. You can probably screen print a mask on too but it has to be able to withstand the acid bath.