Alternative to high resolution imagesetting

steveput

Member
I currently use an imagesetter to produce film positive output with up to a 200-line screen. Is there any alternative to high resolution imaging that does not require using a chemical processor?
 

prepressdork

Well-known member
Is purchasing a platesetter an option? If so, there are plate options that don't require post-image processing. Your press would ultimately remove the non-image areas of the plate.

pd
 

steveput

Member
Is purchasing a platesetter an option? If so, there are plate options that don't require post-image processing. Your press would ultimately remove the non-image areas of the plate.

pd
I don't think that's an option - I provide film to a variety of users, like letterpress, silkscreen, and offset printers who still make their own plates. It seems like old technology and I'm looking for something to recommend in case my equipment breaks down. I don't know if there are alternatives that can handle high line screens.
 

Macmann

Well-known member
We're still beating a 90's era Barco Megasetter Plus like a rented mule. We picked up a spare from overseas. If you find something, please share with the rest of the class!
 

Repro_Pro

Well-known member
Silver based imagesetter film is going to be around for quite some time.
But, Thermal Film may also be an alternative.
Not cheap, scratches easily, but needs no processing.
OYO, (now under a different name) - for up to 120 LPI @1200 dpi. - (Not suitable for the OP's requirements),
but KODAK DITR @ 2400/2540 DPI is said to offer 175 LPI and may be OK.
 
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steveput

Member
Silver based imagesetter film is going to be around for quite some time.
But, Thermal Film may also be an alternative.
Not cheap, scratches easily, but needs no processing.
OYO, (now under a different name) - for up to 120 LPI @1200 dpi. - (Not suitable for the OP's requirements),
but KODAK DITR @ 2400/2540 DPI is said to offer 175 LPI and may be OK.
Thank you, that is informative. I guess I don't have to feel like a total dinosaur because I still run film.
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
When I worked for Compose, we sold "film" ( which was a roll of coated plastic ) that was "exposed" using the Epson inkject printer ( it worked ! ) - I dont work for them now, but here is a video that explains it ( maybe this might work for you ? ) best of luck !

 

Puch

Well-known member
When I worked for Compose, we sold "film" ( which was a roll of coated plastic ) that was "exposed" using the Epson inkject printer ( it worked ! ) - I dont work for them now, but here is a video that explains it ( maybe this might work for you ? ) best of luck !

That was my solution, too, but the Epson's 1440 dpi addressable resolution isn't enough to produce 200 lpi screens. I remember they've advertised this to be good up to 133 lpi.
 

hsearcy

Active member
When I worked for Compose, we sold "film" ( which was a roll of coated plastic ) that was "exposed" using the Epson inkject printer ( it worked ! ) - I dont work for them now, but here is a video that explains it ( maybe this might work for you ? ) best of luck !


I'm currently making film positives on an Epson T5270 wide format at 2880x1440. It works for screen printing, but I don't think I'd want to try other processes with it. Besides the line screen limitations, it's just not consistent enough from one print to the next. Accurate registration can be a pain.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We still have 3 Linotronics sitting next to our platesetter collecting dust. They are in good shape and ready to run, but just don't make sense.
 

Martin Mueller

Well-known member
@steveput
I can still do something to refine inkjet-to-film production. If you switch to the more precise Epson SureColor SC-P models instead of the Epson SC-T "plastic" model series, 200 lpi can be achieved. The material guidance in the printer is higher quality and more precise. I would recommend the Romanian StudioRIP IE (Inkjet Edition) as the preferred RIP control.
Greetings from Germany
Martin
 

Martin Mueller

Well-known member
@MacDaddy
I worked for Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. in Germany for over 13 years and I know well the TDP device and material. The maximum screen ruling of the TDP thermal printer is 133 lpi and therefore the desired 200 lpi is still a long way off. The dot shape that can be achieved is very irregular and also frayed due to the thermal print head. An Epson SureColor SC-P & SC-T inkjet printer with inkjet film achieves better quality.
 

Hagar_uk

Member
I currently use an imagesetter to produce film positive output with up to a 200-line screen. Is there any alternative to high resolution imaging that does not require using a chemical processor?

There are solutions, but it will depend on what your requirements are in terms of size and how much you are willing to compromise and how deep your pockets are

1. Thermal, There are some solutions around from a couple of companies. The MPM product is a great little product for its designed target, which is low LPI work as runs as 1207DPI from memory.

For people who need larger formats There are some thermal systems that go up to 54" wide, but the quality drops as the resolution is 600DPI/Interlaced 1200DPI,

2.. Inkjet, this is very popular as very cheap, depending on your needs can be done with simple cut sheet A4 on cheap home printers, but for more real life production situations T3200 or the P10000/20000 can be popular. Resolution is quite high 2880/2400 however quality is not what you will get on a laser system, while software and hardware will output at 200 LPI This inmy view is pushing it. if you look at the dots (even if imaging on the same RIP) will see a difference as drop placement is not as accurate. Registration is also less accurate in larger sizes. But for most users Inkjet works well

Also worth noting is Ink, Epsons usually come with 2 Inks, PhotoBlack which has a low D Max and Matte Black which has a high Dmax, but will scratch and smear when rubbed. As such there are 3rd party inks aimed at this market, High Dmax with better scratch resistance. Some are pigment based some are dye based, some are great some are very poor. If you go down this route get samples of your job made and make plates to check it is suitable

3. Ablative film. Not something I have used myself. but if your looking for quality of traditional imagesetter without chemicals, this is probably the closest system. It works on high power laser based systems. The flint version of the film can run up to 10000DPI, no chemicals, scratch resistant, runs in normal light. Sounds great,, But.. (there is always a but) these films are typically imaged on Flexo CTP systems, so cost of equipment is very high and only seen system where they are loaded as a sheet manually on the drum
 

Fin Waller

New member
Still using film here.. Getting difficult to sustain.. New software is getting less and less compatible with older rip imagestetter combinations. (Thanks Adobe!) I have to maintain a daisy chained mac network of older machines just to get decent black saturation out of my postscript files. There is money to be made if somebody can come up with a viable alternative.
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
Still using film here.. Getting difficult to sustain.. New software is getting less and less compatible with older rip imagestetter combinations. (Thanks Adobe!) I have to maintain a daisy chained mac network of older machines just to get decent black saturation out of my postscript files. There is money to be made if somebody can come up with a viable alternative.

Exactly what do you believe that there is in “new software” from Adobe that is “less and less compatible with older RIP imagesetter combinations?" I know of absolutely no features associated with printing from any Adobe graphic arts applications or even Acrobat to PostScript printers that have been removed or deprecated over the last 20 years! Exactly what do you believe has changed?
 

Repro_Pro

Well-known member
"I have to maintain a daisy chained mac network of older machines..."


Converting old computers into Virtual Machines lets us keep our seldom needed out-of-date software "alive and kicking".
This is such a handy and practical solution, I can't understand why it is not used far more for prepress.
 
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