How can I buy a press?

Here! Get a press!


Do you ship worldwide?

Almost! We ship to most countries as it’s part of our mission to get printmaking to places where it wasn’t possible before.

The only places we cannot ship to at the moment are: South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Palestinian Autonomous Territories, Canary Islands.




So … what exactly is “3D” about this press?

The press itself! We are using a modern manufacturing technique called 3D-printing to “print” most of the parts of the press. It’s basically a machine that can extrude molten plastic and construct a three-dimensional object.


What is the maximum paper size for the press?

The press can print on paper that is 75 x 230mm big. 


Which techniques can I use with this press?

All intaglio and relief printing techniques can be used with our presses, including etching, engraving, drypoint, mezzotint, aquatint, photo-etching, collagraph, carborundum, chine-collé, monotype, blind embossing, linocut, woodcut, etc.


You can check out some techniques in our ebook!



What kind of plastic are you using for 3D printing?

To keep all our manufacturing as eco-friendly as possible, we are using PLA for all our parts and are collecting all waste to eventually recycle it into new parts. PLA is a plastic made from renewable materials such as corn starch or sugar cane and is industrially biodegradable. It also has great strength properties and is very easy to print.



Is there a larger version?

Not at the moment, sorry! Even though we might work on a larger version at some point, we are trying to make printmaking accessible and think that the current size for the press is best suited for that. Small artworks can be very fun, check out our Open Press Exchange where we challenged artists worldwide to create tiny artworks!


Do you also sell plates?

We don't sell the plates. We suggest you ask your local art supply store what they have, they will be able to help find exactly what you're looking for and how to cut them. 

There is also the option of using TetraPak as plates, if you first want to experiment a bit, depending on what your experience level is.



What paper should I use for printing?

There are endless types of printmaking paper and any professional etching paper should be usable with our tiny press. We tried paper from Awagami, Hahnemühle, Fabriano and Somerset, they are all great! We encourage you to check out your local art supply shop and see what they have available. 



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

You might want to check your paper first. If it’s not picking up all the ink it might not be damp enough. Try letting it sit in water for maybe two or three hours and try again, this might have a great impact on the quality of your print! You can also try and increase the pressure of the press, but do this slowly and see if the results get better.


If you have 3D-printed the open source version, you might want to check if your upper roller is perfectly round. If it’s not, try sanding it to make it run smoothly.


You can also check out our free Tips and Techniques ebook where we have a whole section on troubleshooting. 


I have a press, now where should I start?

Congrats! Your possibilities are endless now. If you need help getting inspiration or finding a starting point might we suggest having a look at the #openpressproject on instagram or checking out the Open Print Exchange archive. There, you’ll find hundreds of artworks created by other artists just like you, enjoy!

Please feel free to send us photos of your artworks via Instagram, we are always excited to see what people do with our presses!



You mentioned something about free plans, how does it work?

Basically, we are not charging for a noncommercial licence of the open source-version of the press. Anyone with access to a 3D-printer can print their own press for free, as long as the files are not used for commercial purposes.


We posted a tutorial about how to print your own press, you can read about it here! 



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

You will need to find a makerspace or fablab in your area. Universities, schools and local libraries often have 3D-printers, lots of people have successfully printed their presses that way! Otherwise, you can buy a press from us. We take care of the production, you’ll get a high quality press and can focus on the art-part! 



Does the open source version have a metal roller, too?

The free plans for the press are not designed to have a metal roller, because we want them to be as accessible as possible. Depending on where you live, it might be difficult to find fitting materials. That's why almost all of the parts are 3D-printed to make it as easy as possible for people to print a press! Check out our printing instructions here




Which 3D-printer do I need?

Any FDM/FFF printer should do. The print area should be at least 150mm in the X or Y axis and it has to be able to print PLA-filament. We love printers from Prusa, they offer great print quality and have a great open-source mindset (not sponsored :)).



Which filament should I use?

We use PLA for all of our parts, because it’s the easiest to use, made from renewable materials and has good strength properties. Other materials such as ABS and PETG might work as well, but we suggest using PLA for all parts, since it’s less bendy.



How do I get small blankets?

This might be a challenge. Lots of people are approaching local printmaking studios and are asking them for leftover blankets. Oftentimes they have damaged or old blankets you might be able to get a small piece of.


Can I get a metal roller for my home-printed press?

We do not offer steel rollers in our shop because the ones we use are not compatible with the open source version of the press. The presses we sell are constructed a bit differently for even more durability while the open source version is made to be as simple to DIY as possible. That being said, the open source version will still give you great results for prints. Especially for amateur printmakers and depending on the technique used it will make basically no difference. 

Can I print the free version and sell it?

No, even though we want printmaking to be as accessible as possible and spread worldwide, we want to do so in a healthy and wholesome way. Please respect the noncommercial aspect of it and contact us if you have any questions or want to sell them in your store!


Is there a submission fee?

Yes, please check out the registration page for the exact amount, as it depends on your location due to taxes. We have hosted this exchange at a loss in the past. In order to be able to continue offering this print exchange with all its features, we have decided to raise the registration fee to our “own cost” this year. We hope that you will still participate as we appreciate all of you and your lovely artworks so much.

If you don’t have the financial means to participate in this exchange, please drop us a line team@openpressproject.com


Why is there such a big markup for shipping?

Because we try to keep the cost of the exchange low we decided to calculate the shipping extra instead of rolling the cost over into the registration price as it varies so much from country to country. The shipping cost includes not only the return prints but also the catalogue later on. 


How do I get updates?

By registering, you will automatically subscribe to a separate newsletter where we'll send you regular updates on how things are going and remind you of deadlines. Please make sure to look for emails by “team@openpressproject.com”, even in your spam folder.


Why did you not use Kickstarter again?

We felt like a lot of things collided with Kickstarter’s system (like letting groups participate). Using our own website gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of collecting and editing the data we receive from you. We also save on costs as there are no Kickstarter fees.


I want to participate in a group or submit more than one edition

You can register for more than one person or submission by just adding another submission fee-product to your cart. Then you can simply all send in your prints together. Please note that the return prints will all be sent to the same address. Also, there is a very slim chance that you’ll get prints from your group members back. 


Where can I get a press?

You can either order one of the 3D printed presses from us (with steel roller, blanket, table clamp, etc.) on our website https://openpressproject.com/products/open-etching-press

or  you can 3D print your own if you have access to a 3D printer. Instructions can also be found on our website: https://openpressproject.com/blogs/news/how-to-3d-print-your-own-printing-press



When is the deadline to send in prints?

Deadline is the 1st of March 2023, so you have enough time to print your edition and send it to us. However, we strongly suggest not shipping them before Christmas! Our experience has shown that mail can get delayed in the Christmas season. It's better to wait until the beginning of January before sending them to us. Please check out this packaging guide: https://openpressproject.com/blogs/news/packaging-guide-for-the-open-print-exchange

Which printing techniques are allowed?

You can use all techniques related to printing, like drypoint, etching, engraving, mezzotint, aquatint, linocut, woodcut, collagraph, blind embossing, etc.

The prints have to be created with a 3D printed press, though. You can also colourise your prints later, but please make sure that the print-part is prominent. Monoprints are also okay if you focus on making them look similar.


Where have my prints been exhibited? 

We will add the information about where prints have been shown on the website. You can find it right below the rest of the information for each print. Please note that we can only update this information every few months and cannot check for individual prints, we simply do not have the capacity for that at the moment. You can always try to spot your print in photos of the exhibitions, which we try to share frequently. 


I want to buy the catalogue separately.

Everyone who participates will get a free copy of the catalogue and if you’re interested, you’ll get a chance to order another catalogue after the campaign! It’ll be on the website https://openprintexchange.com/ and we will announce it on social media and via the updates. By the way, you can still grab a catalogue of the first exchange on the website! 


Are my prints safe?

We’ll do our absolute best to keep your prints safe and promise to handle them carefully and to prevent loss or damage at all costs. However, you must be aware that, even though we have tested and gone through the process prior to this project, we cannot guarantee this 100% as we have no control over some factors like international shipping and the prints being exhibited in public spaces. For this reason, you must exempt us from any claims for loss or damage to your prints or data. More information can be found here.

Is there a form I need to sign?

We’ll send you an email in the upcoming weeks with a form to fill out. You’ll need to submit it before you send in your prints. With it, you’ll accept the terms and conditions again and send us any information about your print such as technique, title, your name, your social media, etc.



How do I need to package my prints?

After unpacking hundreds of envelopes, we have a pretty good idea of what works best for us while keeping prints secure. We’ve summarised these learnings here.

Do you have experience with print exchanges?

This is our third print exchange and we definitely learned a lot during our first two that we’ll take into consideration for this year’s run! Over the past few years we’ve figured out the world of international shipping and for the last exchanges we received and sent out prints to over 700 people from 34 countries.

Why do you only allow 3D printed presses?

There are already plenty of amazing print exchanges for regular presses and for us it’s particularly exciting to see what you can do with a 3D printed press. It was mind blowing for visitors of past exhibitions to see what is possible with such a small press and it sends a message to everyone that they can do it too. 3D printing the presses shows that you don’t need to spend thousands of Euros to get access to these techniques.


What happens if I send in the wrong format?

All of the prints will be exhibited together in small square frames, which means that we cannot accept prints that are not on 7x7cm paper. It doesn’t have to be exact to the last millimetre but we will be pretty strict. If you send in prints that are the wrong shape or size your print will be disqualified from being included in the exchange, the catalogue, and the exhibitions! We can either offer you a refund or you can still get the catalogue. Either way, we will try to send your prints back to you eventually. Please understand that this will likely take a long time as we have to prioritise the other parts of this print exchange. 

What if I forgot to send in my survey on time?

We need your survey to be able to include your print on the OPE website and the catalogue. We’ll send it out in January, as well as regular reminders with deadlines but after a certain point (which will be specified in the email) we can no longer include you in the catalogue. If you send in your survey after that we will put your print on the website eventually but please understand that this will likely take a long time as we have to prioritise the other parts of this print exchange. 



What happens to the rights to my prints when I participate?

To be able to do this project and show prints in exhibitions and on the website, we need to have your permission to do these things. By participating you agree to give us all the rights to your prints. We’ve tried to clarify the terms in a PDF. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.



Which print will be kept for digitising and the exhibition?

This will be chosen at random. Because we’ll be opening up lots of packages, we unfortunately can’t take the time to choose the best quality print if they differ slightly. Please only send in prints that are very similar in quality and only works that you are happy to have published.



Will you sell my print in exhibitions? What happens to the money?

Our plan is to show the exchange in galleries and at events, and for a lot of places it’s necessary to have them available for sale. Otherwise we wouldn’t get into a lot of galleries. 

In the past few exhibitions we have sold only a handful of prints to people who really loved them. All proceeds from the sales (minus what the gallery takes as percentage) go directly into financing more exhibitions (to pay for shipping etc). 


More questions? Just write us an email!