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Lots-of-ink mode for printers

Mode to make printers put lots of ink on paper for embossing or other purposes
  [vote for,

I've found a wonderful technique for making elegant artwork with inkjet printers that 'almost' works wonderfully: print out an outline design on non-porous paper, sprinkle embossing powder on it, and heat it with an embossing heat gun. The powder will (sort of) stick to the ink, and then when you blast it with a heat gun the powder will melt and swell, forming a raised design on the paper.

Unfortunately, unless I limit myself to the bottom inch or so of the paper and immediately put the embossing powder on it, the ink will dry too fast and the results will come out mediocre at best. If the printer driver could be pursuaded to put down about 3x-6x as much ink as normal, this would make the ink stay wet much longer and allow for better results. What would be really awesome would be if the printer driver could be set so that one "key" color would be printed as 5x-6x black while all other colors appeared normal. This would result in most of the ink on the page drying quickly except the spots which should appear raised, which would stay wet much longer.

Anyone work at a printer manufacturer and could sneak that into a driver?

supercat, Oct 31 2000

"Fun Papers" for inkjet printers http://store.yahoo....typc/funpapers.html
Craft-oriented site that sells paper [link moved from [patc's] annotation] [bristolz, Sep 14 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

How To from HP web site http://h30039.www3....ss_with_inkjets.asp
Specifies the need for different paper. [James Newton, Jan 18 2005]


       Why not have a classy printer with a cartridge of embossing powder/solution thereof...? Maybe one that doesn't require a heat gun, but a chemical that will make it swell somehow...
Detly, Oct 31 2000

       Or you could go back to the mimeograph. I remember those staying wet far too long.
hello_c, Nov 01 2000

       In one of my numerous reincarnations I was a printing apprentice. We printed wedding invitations etc. on a platen press with a sticky varnish-ink. [All traditional "inks" are like thick paint. Your jet-printer uses liquid ink]. We then sprinkled embossing powder on each card, knocked off the surplus, and laid a number of cards out under a heater. Very labour intensive.

       Laser printers however already fuse powder to get their final image. Do a search on special-purpose laser printers. That might be the way embossing's done these days. If not why not? Or for small jobs maybe there's a Letraset embossing version. Rub down. Peel off. Microwave for 10 secs. If not, make a million. It's all yours.
rayfo, Nov 13 2000

       How's this "embossing powder" stuff work, anyway? I hadn't heard of it before, and assumed that embossing was done by pressure (silly me).
egnor, Nov 13 2000

       "Embossing powder" does exist, though --- it just sticks to the wet ink and (after you melt it to make it smooth) gives an embossed effect, although the paper itself is still flat.
wiml, Mar 29 2001

       egnor: Embossing powder is a fine powder which when heated swells and becomes tacky; after it cools, it's no longer tacky, but remains swelled.   

       My late wife introduced me to the stuff which is often used in rubber-stamping. One applies lots of ink to the stamp and stamps the image, then sprinkles on embossing powder and shakes off the excess. After doing that, one uses an 'embossing tool' [a heat gun that's probably around 300F] to make the remaining powder swell and stick to the paper.   

       Ttypically one will collect the excess in a tray for immediate reuse if one is embossing more than one item. Embossing powder does tend to collect dust as it's used, so it's probably a good idea not to throw used embossing powder back in the jar with the new stuff. The stuff isn't free, but it's not too expensive either; in most cases, other costs will dominate.
supercat, Jan 29 2002

       The "proper" way to do this is with a LASER printer... Cut the "foil" and lay over the areas with adhesive tape. Then run paper through the printer. The fuser will fuse the parts to the paper. Peel off the foil's backing and you get gold stuff.   

       The problem with "lots-of-ink" mode is the ink will soak into the paper and disperse, and you end up with a soggy mess.
kschang, Jan 29 2002

       Would it be practical to dust the paper prior to printing? Could the excess be shaken off?
phoenix, Jan 29 2002

       There seems to be a new paper designed just for this -- see [URL moved to links area (above left) ~bristolz, admin].
patc, Sep 13 2002

       Paper printed on a laser printer is in effect equivalent to an offset printing plate: the prited parts attract oils, and the paper part attracts water. So in theory you could 'oil up' the printed part preferentially, then do the embossing powder trick. (back in the 60s, people used to make rough offset masters on a Xerox).
pfperry, Sep 14 2002

       Your problem isn't the ink, its the paper. Different papers absorb the ink at different rates and when the ink is absorbed, it drys. Actually, the ink is still wet, but since it is mostly contained inside the paper, and only the surface is exposed, only that surface needs to dry for you to believe that all the ink is dry. And with dry paper around it rather than wet ink, the surface drys quickly.   

       If you use a paper that does NOT absorb well, the ink will "stay wet" longer because it will be bunched together on the top of the paper.   

       You can use many different kinds of paper with this technique, but certain types will yield the best results. Vellum, for example, takes longer to dry than regular paper, so it’s perfect for embossing. Photo papers also work well.
James Newton, Jan 18 2005


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