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Using reprap to "emboss" on paper

Posted by sebif 
Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 07, 2013 10:13AM
I'm quite new to all this so please bare with me through my explanation ..

I’m looking into printing single color forms on paper that I want to stand out from the page (both 1, chromatically and 2. slightly out from the plane of the paper) as compared to a regular laser printed page.

For 1 - I hope printing with plastic will give that deep black, if possible slightly shiny color.

For 2 though - it's not clear whether printing multiple layers of plastic is better than rather using it in conjunction with embossing. But how to make the print form to exactly register to the embossed one ? (Register Embossing) e.g. see [mcintoshemboss.com].

My plan for the "height" is to have around 0.1-0.15mm and most forms are just lines, curves no thicker than 1mm(there's quite a bit of text/letters).

What are my options? Where do you think I should start from?

I’m currently looking at RepRap but I’m not sure - would the “resolution” be good enough? and is the general design is best fit for this project?

Any ideas would be hugely helpful.
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 07, 2013 08:14PM
RepRaps can do .1mm layer heights.
They can also print lines that are thinner than 1mm, depending on how small the nozzle is and how slowly you extrude.

Plastic, particularly ABS, tends to shrink as it cools, so when you print it onto a thin, flexible material (like paper) it will either detach and curl up into the air or make the paper wrinkle. That might not be a problem. It's a balancing act between multiple factors like how much plastic you extrude, how well it adheres to the surface, and how stiff the material is. PLA shrinks less than ABS, and allegedly some of the more experimental plastics like t-glass shrink even less.

I saw this video a while back. Is this kind of what you're thinking about? [www.youtube.com]
There are also some embossing stamps here [www.thingiverse.com]
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 07, 2013 08:33PM
Have you looked at solid ink printers? They're actually made to print on paper and will give you the deep black, high gloss, and "raised" feeling. [en.wikipedia.org] [www.office.xerox.com]
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 08, 2013 11:57AM

No, I have not previously.

This seems to be very a good solution for what i want. I see that I can find Xerox ColorQube 8570/DN at a reasonable price and I think I would be fine with the constraints(the price of ink/page seems around 4c for black, the maintenance kit, keeping it on for the duration of this project - which will probably exhaust all the ink and more).

There are a few concerns though - mostly based on what little information I could find online, such as the resulted printout being sensitive to being scraped, rubbed off, or smeared as I read that the solid-state ink blocks have a consistency similar to candle wax. It seems that Xerox addressed these issues by improving the “ink formulation to reduce its pile height on paper” but in my mind that takes away from the thickness that I want to achieve.

see: [www.office.xerox.com]

Also, I could not find any information on the default thickness/height of the font and whether you could change that and how.

But I quite like the applicability of this approach and will try to find locally a shop (Toronto) where I can do a few sample printouts to analyze it further.

Thanks for sharing!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2013 11:58AM by sebif.
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 08, 2013 12:00PM

Thanks for the info! I will be looking into PLA and t-glass. Yes, re: embossing - that's something i am considering.

Also, I have a follow up question:
If the forms I am printing are small, lets say letters that are nor joined, each less than 10mm in diameter would these problems still occur? (adherence, curling/wrinkling)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2013 01:33PM by sebif.
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 08, 2013 10:17PM
There are too many variables to say whether or not a unique application will or won't work.

You'll basically know within the first couple millimeters whether or not the plastic is going to adhere properly. It either will or it won't. If it doesn't there are a lot of things you could change to try to get better results (the paper, surface coatings, the plastic, extrusion temperature, first layer height, print speed, extruder speed, etc). Once you get good adhesion you shouldn't have to worry about warping with strands that short, at least not because of plastic shrinkage. It's possible the paper won't respond well to the high temperatures.

That being said, you might be able to use a paste extruder. [www.youtube.com]
You could print with a wider variety of materials and at room temperature. Paint or epoxy would bond with the paper perfectly and you could control the height by thinning or thickening it. The ends of the lines might not be particularly clean, though.
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 09, 2013 08:41AM
Has anyone tried to print onto Tyvek


A 'plastic' paper.

Lahti, Finland
The only stable form of government is Open Source Government. - Kalle Pihlajasaari 2013
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 09, 2013 08:56AM
HDPE becomes wet when melted, i.e. a melted extrudate will slip off of it.
Bonding is going to depend upon getting your extrudate to press into it.
You might get a fusion bond or a mechanical bond, of course it depends on what type of polymer you plan to use.

It's a fabric, so you will need to come up with a means to affix it to your platen.

high-density polyethylene fibers.
Melt point 230 – 273 °F (110 – 134 °C).

The recommended adhesives for Tyvek might be useful to hold objects to the build platen.
Solvent-based single-component polyurethane
Re: Using reprap to "emboss" on paper
December 09, 2013 10:38PM

Thanks for the extra info. I will try.

Reading this [engineeringourfreedom.blogspot.ca] , it seems others have been able to print on paper but without much adherence. Will see.
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