Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Z-Acryl testing results

We did some testing with the Z-acryl litho plates a while ago. I finally got to taking some pictures and editing them.

In the first picture you can see all the different media that worked - and did not work on the plastic.
  • All liquid pens, permanent markers, sharpies, micron pens worked well.
  • Regular acrylic paints printed solid, but where there was a slight dimensionality to the paint, it would give effect of a collagraph. Pretty cool.
  • Asphaltum worked pretty well. It came off in areas where it was applied very thick. So if you use it make it a thin coat.
  • Any kind of waxy medium like litho crayns or colored pencils did not work very well, they come off as you roll stiff ink on.

Now apparently, from my research, litho crayons work on Pronto plates. I have never used Pronto plates, but they are basically same as the Z-Acryl plates, but made by a different manufacturer and they are translucent. If you are looking for more into on how to make and print Z-Acryl plates, you can also search under Pronto plates, and get a whole bunch of sites.

Here are some that have some interesting info:
A great how to and digital how to from Kevin Haas
Another trial print by the Printmakerguy

One of the great tips I read in the third link was that if your plate starts picking up ink in unwanted areas in the middle of printing (scumming), you can wipe it with a solution that has a small amount of gum arabic and a pinch of citric acid in it. Apparntly picks it right up. So far I have been able to release the ink by just applying a solution with gum arabic on it, but I will keep this in the back of my head in case a crisis arises...

Ok, so as I had mentioned in a previous Z-Acryl post, you can run the plates through a lazer printer or copier. We gave it a shot too with an image that happened to be on the computer ready to go. We ran it through the printer and rolled it right up. I the printer heats the toner hot enough to set it on the plate. So here are some pictures how it turned out:

This is a closer up.
I just did this on the computer to see what would happen if we rolled each image up with a different color and printed them on top of each other on the paper.
Here is a super closeup where you see the halftone pattern of the digital image.
So hope that was helpful for some of you. If you just stumbled upon here and have no idea what Z-acryl lithography plates are, please go check out my instructional video here.

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