Using an inkjet printer to apply Pd/Pt sensitizer to paper.

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Zero_Equals_Infinity, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Zero_Equals_Infinity

    Zero_Equals_Infinity Member

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    Has anyone tried using an inkjet printer to apply sensitizer to paper?

    I realise that the experiment may destroy the printer, so I will look for a well used Epson 1800 which can be picked up on the cheap, and get some Jon Cone cartridges ($30), and minimally load them with sensitizer for the test. Also, if the process works, a thorough cleaning of the printer would need to be performed following each batch.

    Concerns:
    1) Ferric Oxalate could readily clog or otherwise damage the print head.
    2) Particle sizes in solution could be too large.

    Advantages:
    1) Totally uniform coating
    2) Selective density of sensitizer would allow dialing in the amount of sensitizer applied, (reducing sensitizer use to the minimum required, but no less.)
    3) Ease of creating shaped sensitized areas on paper, (e.g. oval for old style portrait.)

    These are my thoughts. Obviously I do not want to just throw away money if someone else has performed the experiment and determined it cannot work. If anyone has tried this, please post your experiences and results here.

    Note: The same technique could be used to apply a Fumed Silica pre-treatment of paper, and the fumed silica particles are small enough (to not pose an issue as the primary particle sizes range from 5nm to 50nm.)
     
  2. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    if you can pull it off then you could sell coated paper...good luck!!
    Best, Peter
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I like ideas like this , I agree with Peter , good luck
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I think it is ridiculous. Pt/Pd is one of the easier sensitizers to coat evenly with a good brush or rod. Why waste the time and effort on such a scheme.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Platinum paper was successfully coated, boxed and sold commercially in the past.
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Excellent idea.
     
  7. jakobb

    jakobb Member

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    A coating rod or brush works pretty good for me (depending on the paper). Most of the sensitizer is not used for the image but will be washed away. An inkjet printer could deposit sensitizer like it normally does it with ink or pigment to print an image. That dried sensitizer image will be exposed uniformly to UV and developed. One could have different "inks" which is sensitizer in different concentrations like normal printers use different black/grays but also different other metals (e.g. gold) to modify color. Only as much Pd/Pt would be used as the image requires. This would be not contact printing but digital printing.
    I would not see a principal problem spraying the sensitizer except it will dry and crystalize in the print head. Flushing and priming could waste a lot of sensitizer.
    Also it would require a lot of printing software development (so not for me). These prints will be as stable as any Pd/Pt print but would it generate similar tonal range that traditional pd/pt prints have?
     
  8. Zero_Equals_Infinity

    Zero_Equals_Infinity Member

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    Because if it works it enables greater control and consistency, clean borders for the sensitizer, possibly lower sensitizer utilization, and customized shaping and sizing of sensitized areas. And, it means anyone who then wants to dedicate an old printer to the job can do so as well, (again assuming it works.)

    If it does not work, I lose a small amount of money thrown into the experiment, which is no big deal.

    Besides isn't at least part of the fun of alternate processes performing experiments. If I stay safely within the borders of the known, the boundaries remain fixed, but if I push at those boundaries I may find a way to better achieve my vision.
     
  9. Philip Taylor

    Philip Taylor Member

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    I'd be very interested in seeing this trial. As you say, alternative processes are all about experimentation - if it works it may produce similar results and it will just be an interesting exercise. OR, it could produce some other interesting result which could bloom into a whole new process...this is how new ideas turn into something. Go for it!
     
  10. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Not that we'd do this, but one could then print the image on the inkjet and develop it bypassing a digital negative......and that would mark the downfall of civilization...:smile:
     
  11. Mike Ware

    Mike Ware Member

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  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If you automate the method of coating, does this not dilute the mark of the artist/maker from the final print?
     
  13. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Looks like Mike is way ahead of the rest of us (not at all surprising). I know a little about inkjets. I would think that a cheap HP would be the way to go as their heads are integrated into the cartridges and are disposable. They use a technology that heats up the ink locally and it squirts out from the pressure of "boiling" the ink. Epson uses a piezo element to do the squirting. Not sure which technology is easier on the ink/chemistry. I would expect that you may also have to add some sort of surfactant to get it to go through the inkjet head nicely (could be wrong). A little Tween 20 might help. Too much tween will make it spread in the paper too much though.
     
  14. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Sounds interesting, but what will you do if a nozzle clogs? Do you have a printer in mind?