DIY Printmaking Press – Open Press Project

by martin_schneider, published

DIY Printmaking Press – Open Press Project by martin_schneider Mar 27, 2018


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Open Press Project is the first 3D-printed etching press ... and won‘t be the last!

Everyone that has access to a 3D printer can produce their own fully functional DIY press and print their own etchings, dry-points or engravings. Woodcuts, linocuts and other relief printing techniques work, too!

With only 5 € of material costs it is also the world’s most inexpensive press! All you need to know about your first print is summarized here: http://martinschneiderart.com/openpressproject/

This is the outcome of my Intermediate-exam at KISD Köln International School of Design. After about 7 years of printmaking at Kölner Graphikwerkstatt (http://www.graphikwerkstatt.de/) I thought I should give the world a press that is not as expensive, heavy and huge like any other printmaking press. I figured that the unavailability of a press is one of the main challenges for people that want to try printmaking. That's why I decided to create one with my 3D-printer! Over the course of 5 months I built 10 prototypes, printed more than 100 proofs and used a kilometer of filament. And I got it working! The final prototype is able to print on a 70 x 100 mm paper!

All of the files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, so you're free to copy, share, and edit the press for non-commercial purposes. I would love to see your redesigns, adjustments and improvements to the press! After more than 300 years of nonexisting innovation in the design of a printmaking press it's time to bring it to the next level.

To start printing you have to download the 3D files! For detailed instructions please visit: http://martinschneiderart.com/openpressproject/
Or download the PDF here: http://martinschneiderart.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/openPressProject_instructions.pdf

Happy printing!

Print Settings


Anet A8








for detailed instructions please visit http://martinschneiderart.com/openpressproject/

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In your assembly diagram it looks like items G and H are Bolts and Nuts? What type, size, length, etc should be used to fit?

Sorry for the late reply! I've used these M5x35mm set screws with dog point https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06XBSJ4CD/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_VG71Ab48TVB36 (might be in German)

But every M5 screw with a regular M5 hexagon nut should work. If you use very long screws it might be difficult to grab the handle of the press while printing, so I wouldn't use anything thats longer than 50mm ...

Is PLA an adequate material for this press?

Yes, PLA is the only material I used! :) PETG and nylon would be interesting as well, since it should be much more durable. But I need a new hot end for that ...

PETG is nice for its interlayer adhesion strength but the surface is softer and almost too sticky for moving parts to slide past each other. ABS and nylon are a pain to print due to ventilation and enclosure requirements, and nylon especially requires a dryer setup. So i'm glad it's only PLA. Thanks!

Interesting! Thank you for the information :)

Thanks for fixing the lower roller file! I grouped a bunch of the files together to print overnight, but was having trouble getting that one to work with the others. Working with the art teacher in my school to make a set of these, so thanks for sharing! We are also toying with scaling it up by 40% and using M8 screws in its place. Have you attempted this at all? Also, tried adding a back end for the connectors that seems to help the stability. See files attached. Cheers!!

I've never tried to make it bigger, since it would take a lot longer to print and I needed to finish the exam :P You could try to make the rollers longer and the side parts wider instead of scaling it up in every direction. For relief printing this should be no problem, but it might break with intaglio ... You just have to try it out. Also, make sure the standard version works for you before you print a bunch :) I would love to see some photos!! The modification looks great, although it might be difficult to disassemble the press later. There shouldn't be too much stress on these parts, the main pressure is on the end of the rollers and the moving parts of the sides. Keep me posted, super cool that people are changing the design. Exactly what I was hoping for this project :))

And I'm back ;-)

We use an Up Mini and the press table is too large to print in one go on the flat. So I had it sideways on the diagonal, but it was just not coming out alright. So I tinkered it in half and uploaded the files, how would I correctly attribute those files? With a link to this project? thanks, Petra

Great! I would love to see some photos :) I guess the best thing would be to upload it as a remix of this project, so it's easier for people to find. But sure, a link to this project and the website is fine, too! :)

Hi there, I am having some difficulty opening the "lowerRoller.stl" file in my slicer tool (using Slic3r, tried both v1.2.9 and a prerelease 1.3.0). Is there anything wrong with that file that you can see? I can open the STL in a CAD tool (Fusion 360) just fine, and it saves out the same file, so I am not sure. Do you have any suggestions? Trying to use various "repair" tools on the STL do make it openable, but some faces are missing at that point.

Hi! Sorry for the late reply. I just checked the file, there are some overlapping surfaces inside that might cause trouble. I've attached a new roller here, hopefully that fixes things. Let me know if it works, so I can replace it with the old one :)

That fixed it up! Thanks!

Hi, awesome project and thanks for sharing. I'm in the process of printing and have two comments: a reminder to export the side part and create a mirror file.
The sliding unit had lightly fused and we were able to release it by applying leverage in the side groves.
I'll add photos when we've finished printing.

Thanks for trying to print one! I think I did write that down in the PDF and on the website, I've used a wrench to break them loose. You actually don't need to mirror it. They should be symmetrical, so you can just print two of them.
Can't wait to see the photos, so awesome to see my design being used around the world!!

Oh dear, both my husband and I had a 'blonde moment' obviously! Thanks.
Anyway, printer is not working properly, I'm thinking the nozzle has given up and will have to wait til Thursday to get a new one. :(