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Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

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  • Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

    I am the prepress tech/graphic designer at a medium sized company that manufactures and prints CDs and DVDs. We currently use macs running OS 10.4, print our proofs on a xerox 7750 color laser printer. Film is output using a Agfa Accuset 1000 plus imagesetter, HqRIP 7.0. Agfa film and chemicals. We offer 2 different types of on disc printing, silkscreen and offset. The offset press is a Lamin HW-430, the silkscreen presses are ancient Hanky and Roto presses. We silkscreen print at 120 lpi on Sericol Xtreme screens and the offset press is capable of 175 lpi printing, though the most we get from our imagesetter is 150 lpi.

    The company isn't going to make the investment in CTP, so what I would like to do is use the same printer that we print our proofs on to also print transparencies that we can use for offset and silkscreen. I think it would greatly improve the quality of our proofs as well as save us a lot on film and chemicals as well as improve our color management. Can somebody recommend a printer (it would have to be inkjet, right?) and rip software that could handle positive transparencies at 120 line for silkscreen as well as 150 (or better yet, 175 line) negatives for both our printing types? I've only just begun investigating this, and thought this would be a great place to get some advice.

    Thanks,

    Doug S

  • #2
    Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

    I don't think you can get screen from an inkjet or laser printer!
    Let alone printing on transparent film!

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    • #3
      Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

      Xante has produced laser printers that can quite easily produce film for positives or litho negatives for several years now. The quality is limited only by the resolution limitations of the machine, and some are able to output at 2400 x 2400 dpi. This makes a 150 line screen useable in a negative, thanks to another feature (NEIT) that prevents fine detail from filling in. The down side is, you still need a chemical. The film needs to be run through a one bath daylight processor to enhance the density to a level that makes clean plates. Most users who have this feature on the PlateMaker series, don't use it much, because it is easier and more chemical free to just do the output directly on a polyester plate.

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      • #4
        Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

        Blair, thanks for telling me about Xante. I looked at their website and they have a new printer called the PlateMaker 5... does anybody have any experience with this?
        http://www.xante.com/products/pm5/

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        • #5
          Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

          Blair Wolfe wrote:
          "...because it is easier and more chemical free to just do the output directly on a polyester plate."

          Since when is a polyester plate easy and "more" chemical free? My experience with polyester was that it was not terribly stable and certainly requires some dirty chemicals. Have things changed?

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          • #6
            Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

            We have owned, operated and serviced every version of Polyester PlateMaker Xante has made. (We are a dealer) There is not much new or different in the PlateMaker 5, we have one, and it mainly makes plates, but we produce film for a nearby printer who wants to make metal plates, and he is quite happy with it.

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            • #7
              Re: Expertise Needed: Sick of film and chemicals

              It sounds like your experience with Polyester plates is with the camera or processor versions from years go by. I am refering to polyester plates imaged in a 2400 dpi laser printer, dry, and mounted on the press with nothing other than dampening solution. We have run thousands of these. The down side for some shops is the 13" limit on width, so you can only run them on a press up to the size of a Quickmaster, and don't expect to get much more than 15000 off a plate before it wears out. The best part is how quickly a plate can be made and mounted, no striping, processing, gumming, etc.

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