Introduction: Wood Block Printing With the ShopBot

Picture of Wood Block Printing With the ShopBot

I have been a TechShop member for a little over a year. I can't say enough about how much I love the studio atmosphere and being able to watch, learn and collaborate with others. I spend most of my time in the Textiles area and do quite a bit with the laser. For this project, however, I wanted a nice deep cut on the block to make printing easier and therefore used the ShopBot.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

  • ShopBot
  • Wood
  • Block Printing Ink
  • Fabric
  • Brayer
  • Surface to roll ink ond

Step 2: File Preparation

I started with simple vector drawings in Illustrator. You can download them and use them as you please. I did neglect to reflect the Texas shape and so my prints are reflected. That was a great learning experience!

Next you'll take your line drawings into VCarve to create the file to cut on the ShopBot. I won't go into details on that as there are many variables based on the wood you select, bits you have, etc. I have included my file as a sample but please check ALL settings if you plan to use it. You don't want to ruin your ShopBot!

Step 3: Preparing to Print

Picture of Preparing to Print

Place a small amount of ink on a flat surface. I used a piece of scrap masonite so that I could throw it away afterwards and not worry about cleanup.

Roll the brayer through the ink multiple times to put a nice even coating of ink on the brayer. Carefully roll the brayer in your block only getting ink on the raised portions.

Step 4: Making a Print

Picture of Making a Print

Fold your fabric or place scrap fabric underneath your printing surface in order to provide a small amount of cushion. Place your block where you'd like the imprint made being very careful not to move the block once it has contacted the fabric.

I used a wood mallet to pound on the block but found that simply tapping it with my hand was just as effective.

When you lift the block the fabric might stick a bit so hold your piece down. Admire your work! Repeat :)

I can't wait to create more blocks to create more textiles to create more objects! Hope you will too!

I made it at Techshop!

Comments

tomatoskins (author)2014-12-20

I love textile printing! It's always fun to make something that no one else had made before. Great information. I've never thought to use a roller before.

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Bio: I am a serial collector of hobbies. My grandfather raised me in the garage learning to work with leather and wood. My grandmother shared with ... More »
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