Design of the Week: Printmaking Press

, Design of the Week: Printmaking Press
The 3D printed Printmaking Press [Source: Open Press Project]

This week’s selection is the Printmaking Press by Martin Schneider.

Schneider, based in Cologne, is an artist who wishes to ensure everyone has access to basic printmaking technology. He explains:


”Printmaking has been around for more than 500 years. Back then, it was used for illustrations in books, to print banknotes or to duplicate famous paintings. Today, printmaking is known for its distinct look and is being used by artists around the world.

However, a lot of people don’t have access to printmaking due to the high costs of a printing press. Especially etching presses for intaglio printing are difficult to find due to the high amount of pressure that is needed. These very heavy and big presses can only be found in specialized workshops or at universities.”

And thus was born the Open Press Project, an initiative to produce a 3D printable model of a printing press that actually works. Here we see an example of a small print made on the device:

, Design of the Week: Printmaking Press
Sample 2D print from the 3D printed Printmaking Press [Source: Open Press Project]

The project and all its materials are provided through an open source license, and thus there is no charge to obtain the designs. However, you will have to 3D print the parts before assembly. On the Open Press Project website there is considerable mention of the issue of having “no access to a 3D printer”. I suspect that readers of this publication will not have that issue.

The design is comprised of several basic structures that must be 3D printed and assembled. Its appearance when completed is quite reminiscent of the 500-year-old presses we’ve always seen in history books, and I suppose that’s the point here.

, Design of the Week: Printmaking Press
Exploded view of the printable parts for the 3D printed Printmaking Press [Source: Open Press Project]

Once upon a time, there were 3D printers that were specifically designed to 3D print themselves, or at least the plastic components. These were 3D printers that printed 3D printers.


, Design of the Week: Printmaking Press
The 3D printed Printmaking Press [Source: Open Press Project]

Here we have a case of a 3D printer printing a 2D printer. And it’s very easy to do.

Via Open Press Project

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