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Metal photo (fishing for some help)

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  • Metal photo (fishing for some help)

    Has anyone ever had to produce metal photo projects? So there is not confusion this is the chemical photo developing process that is preformed old school with a negative and go through that oh so wonderful film developing process but using thin gage photo metal instead of paper. If you answered yes to that question does anybody know if there is new technology out there to either replace or cut down the steps to the old way of this process?

  • #2
    Hi Tangobear. I had to remove your duplicate thread, but don't worry; most of our members check in using the "new posts" link in the green menu bar at the top of the page and as a result see a list of new threads posted in every forum, rather than going through the forums one by one.

    Unfortunately, I can't answer your question. It's rather slow here on weekends, so don't be disappointed if you don't get a response right away. Be sure to check back and even bump this thread on Monday if you haven't received an answer by then.
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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    • #3
      this page suggests that either silkscreen, or some sort of transfer might be suitable 'modern' options.

      I'm also racking my memory - I recall seeing on TV fairly recently a programme about the history of photography, and someone was still using the (very old) technique of developing onto metal instead of paper. bear with me, I'll try and find it
      Want to know what a true friend is? One who walks in when the world walks out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by doctorfoz View Post
        this page suggests that either silkscreen, or some sort of transfer might be suitable 'modern' options.

        I'm also racking my memory - I recall seeing on TV fairly recently a programme about the history of photography, and someone was still using the (very old) technique of developing onto metal instead of paper. bear with me, I'll try and find it

        I will check the link out I have recently shifted career paths from print production to a postion that I still can't accuratly describle but I know that call it silk screen. we use matal photo for bar codes on .05 and .2 metal for identification on a production line and it seems that some of our guys failed that part of pre school where you peel the back of you gold star and stick in on the board. Anyway the reason I was asking is they use CTP in the printing world now instead of devoloping plates.

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        • #5
          We use a chemical applied to metal and our laser engraver. Which the engraver doesn't engrave the steel, but bonds the chemical to the metal in a gray scale image.

          Another process we use is a hard anodized aluminum that we can then laser the image to. Though I do find the steel has better results.

          Our process is to take a photo, digital or scanned, turn it to an inverted greyscale and send it to the laser. Only takes a few minutes to set up for great results. Works well on granite too.

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          • #6
            There are different kind of metal photo processes.

            Anodized dyeing is usually the most durable compared to silkscreen or dye sub. As for lazering, I don't particularly like anything that cuts through the anodized color layer. They are fine for labels and indoor things for the most part, but the cut sections will eventually oxidize a bit.

            Check out AluImage International, among others.
            Last edited by PrintDriver; 07-26-2009, 01:23 PM.

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            • #7
              man, you talk about a blast from the past...


              We used to do Metalphoto about 30 years ago. It actually was a piece of photosensitive metal that was exposed in a vacuum frame with a negative and then "developed" in a bath of MEK (methyl ethyl keytone). Nasty stuff.
              Had a gov'ment contract to do these labels that were to be used on offshore drill rigs and they had to last.

              Did a quick google and found this:
              http://horizonsisg.com/products/metalphoto.asp

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              • #8
                Past?

                If you look around when you board a plane or a bus or anything using QMR standards you will find metal photo all over the place. What I would love to find is a metal photo generation method that is similar to CTP, i.e. let's get away from film output and use laser technology for exposure (laser tech does not "cut" into the substrate; it exposes the desired ares of imprint at which time dye solutions and development can be introduced via handwork).

                Anyone have any suggestions? maybe this is already achieved, if so please enlighten me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Drazan View Post
                  We use a chemical applied to metal and our laser engraver. Which the engraver doesn't engrave the steel, but bonds the chemical to the metal in a gray scale image.

                  Another process we use is a hard anodized aluminum that we can then laser the image to. Though I do find the steel has better results.

                  Our process is to take a photo, digital or scanned, turn it to an inverted greyscale and send it to the laser. Only takes a few minutes to set up for great results. Works well on granite too.

                  I would really like more info...when and how did you set this up? What equipment do you use? Who are your vendors? Is this an upcoming technology (to create metal photo via laser [I am thinking similar to a CTP workflow])? How did you calibrate...ect...ect? Sounds to me like you know what this is all about and I really need to get away from film output.

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                  • #10
                    You can get CO2 lasers for marking metal using the chemical process reasonably cheap these days. I've had a lot of experience with Trotec lasers and would recommend them any day. Also, check out Trotec Nd:YAG lasers which can mark steel without the need for any chemicals.

                    ps. try evright.com if you are in Australia, they are distributors of Trotec lasers

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