Saturday, December 22, 2012

Printing on aluminum foil or non porous surfaces.

Ever since i saw an image of Roarie, printed on a piece of Aluminum foil, we have been fascinated with trying to recreate the process. I had heard this was accomplished by using toilet bowl cleaner to etch the foil, then supposedly it would be able to hold the ink jet's ink. A Google search turned up nothing as far as the toilet bowl cleaner was concerned. I did however find a product that allowed for printing on nonporous surfaces. "Golden's Digital Grounds". So i decided to give it a try. I collected everything i thought i would need:
The first issue i encountered, was trying to find a way to allow the aluminum foil to feed through my printer without being crushed. Aluminum foil is way more fragile then a sheet of paper. I decided to try to wrap the aluminum around a sheet of paper. This was way easier then i thought, the paper provided a fairly sturdy base for the foil.
After i got the foil edges wrapped around the paper, i taped the corners.
Once i had several sheets prepared, it was time to coat them with the digital grounds, we used a spong type paint brush. The product requires two coats, applied vertically and then horizontally.
The product required about 15 mins for each coat to dry.
After the product was dry, it was time to feed into the printer. I used a "matt" profile for the printer settings. Then the moment of truth.
The first sheet didn't feed properly and faulted the printer, I needed to put a stack of paper in the printer and then the sheet fed properly.
Well the product actually works, the ink did stick to the foil. But by not taping all the leading and trailing edges, the printer tractor tore up some of the edged and wrinkled the foil.
After taping the entire length of the leading and trailing edges, the foil fed into the printer without issue and the prints are much better. the computer screen doesn't show the cool effect, printing on foil provides, but anyone that swings by can have a look...or you could print your own..
The digital grounds product costs about $15 at art supply stores. Best regards ~ Doug ~

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