Wednesday 21 December 2016

Thermofax-Printing "quick&dirty" unleashed

At first the result, size 29 x 40 cm, 5 colors, 2 rainbow-prints:

The complete Thermofax-Print, size A3.
And in this way I began:

The CopyPrinter-Master size 20 x 42 cm, with tape at the small edges.

Thermo-printing with the Brother CJ-723.
The Master is mounted on a paper. Printig upside down.

The first color (lightblue), printed in 2 tracks.

1st track of the 2nd color (dark blue).

Now both tracks are printed in dark blue.

3rd color: rainbow-print of green and brown.

4th color: rainbow-print of brown and black.

...the 5th color is black.

And the last color is copper:
Situation shot: printing copper-metallic.
The copper-color-print of the fish.
Some new experiances:
> with the Brother PJ-723 it is possible to burn "infinity" CopyPrinter-Masters, in the width of max. 21cm. I use only 20cm, because the angel of retraction must be very, very 90°.
> When burning the Master, it becomes longer... and more length, when getting wet by color and streched by the squeegee, and I'm talking about cm!
If you want a matching of the different color, you should swage the picture with your program before printing on the Master.
> Printing with metallic-colors... is not so easy. This time I printed the "salmon" several times, with drying inbetween with a hair-dryer.
The color sticked the Master very quick, so I used for every picture a new Master-film, because the material is very cheap. If you have only one burned Master, you better wash it out.

Nevertheless, it was a very good experiance with the "quick&dirty" thermofax-printing.
Now I know, how I can print very quick in very big sizes...
Ok, Andy Warhol did it before, but he used the "complex" screen-printing-system.

I wish you nice celebration-days... with large prints ;o)

Friday 16 December 2016

Risography vs. Thermofax "quick&dirty"?

Risography / Gestetner Copy-Printer........Thermofax "quick&dirty"

size up to A3 (29.7 x 42 cm).......................size up to A4, easier printabel,
                                                                     when smaller, with some tricks
                                                                     "endless" sizes possible see here:

a lot of colors possible, ................................a lot of colors useable,
but every next color                                       quick & easy exchangeable
needs an excange of the                                 you can mix the color-tone
color-drum,                                                    you like
only the Riso-colors are useable,                 
the owner has in his print-store

you can only print on can print on EVERY material,
                                                                      (paper, fabric, plastic, metal...)
                                                                      color-system has to match 

costs: machine = ...........................................tatoo-copy-machine=
USD/ € 7'000.– +                                         USD/ € 140.- + /
or costs, the print-store asks for                    Brother Copy-Jet =
                                                                      USD/ €  520.– +
               material costs are the nearly the same with both systems

analog and digital templates..........................only analog templates with
are possible                                                    tatoo copy-machine
                                                                       digital templates with the
                                                                       Brother Copy-Jet
                                                                       (analog themplates must be
                                                                       scanned before)

only one color/ print possible......................."Iris-print" possible (two, or more
                                                                      colors on one "screen")

machine-print................................................original artists hand-print

Sunday 11 December 2016

Thermofax-Printing with a CasioWriter CW-16

The CasioWriter CW-16 without ribbon.

Just reading in the manual about the CasioWriter CW-16, that this typwriter works without ribbon, "when thermal paper is employed". Wow - so I used it with my Gestetner-Copy-Master, mounted as usually.
& here is the print:

Ooops, the words are mirrored, when printed.
Ok, lets try to use the Copy-Master from its backside:

Ok, I wanted to write, " have to print on clear..."
It works ;-)
The back-side-print has more fringe edges... but this small letters are good readable.
My tip for your next invitation-card: use an old thermo-typewriter for the text.

printed from the usual side

printed from the back side

Have a nice time, when printing your x-mas cards...this year with pics & words (poems?)

Saturday 3 December 2016

Thermofax Printing with Brother Pocket-Jet 723

I know, this thermofax-printer (max. A4) is not cheap, but make it able to print directly from your Mac/PC.

PJ723, Thermofax-film mounted on a 80g/qm-paper, size A5.

Additional the driver offers you the possibility to use a very fine screening.
Sorry, I using a german driver.
The result are speckles, you know from an ink-jet-printer, very fine... so fine, that it is not easy to adjust the paper under the Gestetner-thermofax-film.
Now I make the first print on an fixed transparency, under this I adjust the paper I use for printing.

Here is the result from my 1st 4C*)-thermofax-handprinting:

4-Color Thermofax Hand-Printing, Postcard.

Here you can see the speckles the driver makes.
Happy printing

The Brother PJ723 likes it very clean, but when printig on the Gestetner-Film the plastic-surface evaporate.
To keep the Pocket-Jet clean you have to make one, ore two PRINTS on simple, clean paper.
*) 4color-seperation made with Photoshop.
Ok, after printing you can see nothing on the paper, but you can feel the plastic on the surface of the paper.

Thermo-Fax-Printable Metallic-Acryl found.

Some times befor I wrote, that it is not possible to use in this special thermofax-print, metallic-acryl-colors. But now I've found a printable acryl-color:

It's on you, to test the colors you like... good luck ;-)

Ooops, sample forgotten: results with pure black/white pictures (no shades of gray ;-)

Tuesday 15 November 2016


This time I'll show, how I make a "blind-embossing", a print without ink, but with a lot of pressur.
The clicheé I've etched with FeIIICl in Copper.

an old screw-press

the copper-clicheé

Postcard, face to the chlicheé

the cover is closed

the carriage under the press, after a lot of pressur... can see the relief on the back-side

the blind-embossing on the face of the card

Hope, you enjoyed this little lesson. If you've any question about, please write.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Quick&Dirty Thermofax, some Trouble-Shooting

A. At first I thought, that the Riso-Master has the same qualities, then the Gestetner "CopyMaster.
But it is not...
This Thermofax-Screenprintig is only possible with the Master-Film from Gestetner!

1. Just I' ve tried to make a "Gestetner-Master" with a bigger black area. The copy-machine became to hot, and the "Riso-Master" wrinkles.
It helps to use a black paper as carrier (it takes a part of the heat), and to screen (80%) the black area.
Additional, you should start with black areas, when the copy-machine is still cold.

2. Metallic-colors. They are not printable. The pigments of this colors are too big for the "Gestetner-Master".

3. Cover-tape-frame. I don't use it anymore. So the waves, I make while printing, become flat after every print. "Riso-Masters" with tape-frame became more wrinkles after printig a while.
And now I use less pressure, while printig.

Hope this will helps you

PS. I' ve tried some fonts. "Gill sans", normal, 9 pt, or bigger, works fine.

PPS. I've 2 of this Tattoo-Copy-Machines. Now, after some days useing them, one has a slack joint. The result are stripes in the motive, when I don't "kick" the machine.
The other machine becomes too hot. That means, only lines can be copied, without wrinkles...
...shall I buy a third one?
Still, I love this thermofax... The results are sooo 70th ;-)

Friday 1 July 2016

Cheapest Thermofax-Screenprinting "quick and dirty"

I suppose, you know the basics of screen-printing and/ or Thermofax-Screenprinting.If not, please take a peak to the many videos about at youtube.

Thermofax-Screenprinting is not new, but I suggest,  the way I've found out, is the cheapest and quickest of all.
Do you know "Risography"? It is a kind of digital thermofax-screen-printing. Also used from Gestetner as "CopyPrinter". !!!NEW (2022): Gestetner no longer produces "Masters". The replacement comes from Ricoh and is called "Priport Master". As with Gestetner, there are different units of measurement that all work equally well, they must be tailored to the required format!!!
And on your way throug the "bay", you shurly have seen the cheap Themofax-machines used as Tattoo-tools.
This are the both things I use for my thermofax-printing.
The Gestetner Copy-Master-Film is often seen for USD 15.–/ 100m x 0.23m. Now (2022), the Ricoh-Priport has about the double prize (or more), when bought from eBay. Prize in the office-shops are much higher. But still it is a quick & very cheap printing-technic.
The Tattoo-Thermofax-machine you can get for about USD 135.– (or equivalent, in Europe).

Now you' ve to calculate: 100m x 0.23m are about 300 Screens in A4! !!!I've just bought 2 rolls of Priport-Masters 320 mm, for about 50.- (incl. shipping to Switzerland). With this I'm able to print 1440 different motives in the size of a postcard, or about 650 different motives in the size of A4 (T-Shirts for exsample)!!!
I use this technic mainly for A5 / A6 = Postcards, that means 600 or more Screens for USD 15.-

The Thermofax-Machine is... made in China. The nice LEDs are only fake, but ist works in its simple way, and that is, what we wont for this little money.
There is a similar Machine with USB-Connectiv, but I've not used is up to now. It is only for Windows. I'm Mac-user.

Handling Thermofax quick and dirty:

1. Draw your image, or print it out in the size 1:1, only black and white.
You can use Photoshop to raster an imagine, you can use also 4C-Prints.
2. Prepare the color. For printing on paper, I use Acrylic CMYC-Colors + Black / and Lascaux-Retarter.
For printing on fabric (T-Shirts), use the colours you have.
3. Prepare the print-base. I use a glass/acryl-glass with marker for the right position of the paper.
Then I'm attaching the Riso/Copy-Master -Film directly on the glass.
4. Mount the Film on a carrier of A4-paper, as seen in the pic.
5. Copy the imagine with the Thermofax-machine on the Film.
6. Print and enjoy your art.
6a. For printing, I use a window squeegee, cutten to the right size.

Gestetners "Riso-Master-Film"

The Tattoo-Thermofax-Machine from China

The colours I use for the printing on paper.
Thermofaxing: the "CopyMaster-Film" mounted on an A4-Paper-Carrier obove, the original below (upside down).

Printing. Often I protect the very thin "CopyMaster-Film" with cover-tape.

Printing the 2nd color of a two-color-print.

Size A6: 2-color-Thermofax-Print. Screened with Photoshop.

(the same like above)

Size A6: 4-color-Thermofax-Screenprint.

The different angels of the screen-dots. Traditional Yellow = 0°, Cyan = 15°, Black = 45°, Magenta = 75°.
Now I'm curious about your work. Would be nice, if you mail it to me:

Happy printing

PS.: if you are from St.Gallen/Switzerland look here > Kurse in St.Gallen

Tuesday 28 June 2016

The last secret of Thermofax screen-printing.

Lucky inhabitants of St.Gallen/Switzerland.
They can book a course "Thermofax-Printing".
Next more about the latest news of this simple print-tech.
More about the course:

The simple printing with a Thermofax-Screen

The 2.nd color is printed