Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy a press?

Unfortunately I'm not selling these ... yet! I hope I will be able to soon. We are currently in the middle of testing different materials and designs to ensure that the press will work before we start producing them in bigger quantities. I'm not sure how much longer this will take, but I would rather invest more time on testing than selling a mediocre product. Right now I don't know how much it'll cost in the end. That depends on the material we choose and certain factors that can save printing time. 

I don't know anyone with a 3D printer, how can I get a press?

You might be able to find a library that has a public maker space! Quite a few people have successfully printed a press that way.
However, I know that a lot of people don't have access to a 3D printer, that's why I'm working on selling a press at the moment. This requires more testing, though. News will be shared on the Instagram account and on this website of course!

Also, 3D printers are not necessarily expensive anymore. If you are thinking about getting one and you are willing to buy a kit, you can get printers for less than $200!

What 3D printer do I need?

Every common FDM printer should work. It just needs to be able to print with PLA filament in an area bigger than 150 x 150 x 100 mm.

What filament are you using?

I'm using PLA, one of the most common materials for FDM printers. It's much more durable than ABS, doesn't bend as much and is easier to print! People have sucessfully printed with other materials, so feel free to experiment!

What about SLS/SLA printing?

Currently the design is not optimized for SLA/SLS printing, sorry! I might work on it in the future, so please feel free to drop me an email if you're interested in this!

How can I get small blankets?

I'm using some old wool felts in our workshop. Some of them have holes and can no longer be used with a big press, so I cut them into pieces! If you don't have access to these, you might find some in your local art supply store!

What screws do I need?

You will need two M5 screws with two matching hexagon nuts. These can be found in any local hardware store. Just make sure that the screws are about 50 mm long.

I'm not able to get a good print, what am I doing wrong?

There might be multiple reasons for that. First of all make sure that the upper roller is turning while printing. If it stops, then your roller might not be perfectly round,  which result in varying pressure. You might need to measure the diameter of the bearing of the roller and help with some sandpaper to make it rounder. Same with the bearings in the side pieces. I'm using some vaseline in between side piece and upper roller to help it run smoothly. Additionally you might need more or different blankets (Im using thick wool felts).

Another reason could be that the paper or the ink is not suitable for intaglio printing. You might need to experiment with the wetness of the paper and the viscosity of the ink. For me it works best when the paper is wetter and the ink more viscous than usual.

Can I print it bigger?

Many people have asked me this. I haven't tried to print it bigger yet, but you certainly can! If you are planning to use the press for relief printing only, it should be no problem at all. However, the rollers might break if you use it for intaglio printing due to the high pressure. Please let me know if you have printed it bigger (or smaller), I would love to hear your feedback!

How do you adjust the pressure of the press?

That's why you need two screws on each side of the press! With them you can increase or decrease the distance of the two rollers in order to apply pressure to the printing bed.

How can I support you? 

This project is about the printmaking community, so it would make my day if you join us and share your experience with the press and make suggestions! After some people asked me about how they can throw money at me, I have set up a donation button! If you want to support me and help me spend more time on this project, this is the best way to do that! Every donation is appreciated and goes directly towards giving people more access to printmaking! 

I have more questions!

If you still have unanswered questions, please feel free to write an email to martinschneiderart@gmail.com!