Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My new print washer at last.

When I started looking for a new print washer I did not think it would take the best part of two years for it to arrive. Basically I was looking for a new way to wash multiple prints at once without having to stand there and agitate them. Giving me more time to print. It would have been quite easy to go down the road and buy one off the shelf, but I wanted to put some of the knowledge I had gained into building my own.

I was not expecting it to take so long to arrive at a design I was happy with. It was always going to be a slot style washer which meant it would be a little more complicated to build. I was up for the challenge. The easy part was choosing the materiel it would be made from one of two plastics I had in mind. The next was settling on the size, it had to be the same as my slot processor 18” (460 mm) by 14” (360 mm). When starting a project like this you do not realise how many questions need to be answered before the project get off the page. For example: How many prints did I want to wash at once? How far apart should the slots be? What style of slot divider? For each set of questions I solved so another set would take their place. The most difficult ones to answer were what tooling would be needed.

Making sketches of what the washer should look like helps no end in solving some question quite quickly. By doing this it gives an insight as to what will be the difficult parts to put together. One of the difficulties turned out to be the design of the dividers and how they would be put together. This question remained a sticking point right up to the point of having to make the divides. In the end I settled for ones that could be removed, just as well I did because I'm not happy with the design. Having said that they work really well.

Since it's completion it has been in regular use and now I would not be without it. It has done what I wanted it to do - free me up from having to stand and wash each print by hand.

This post looks into Print washing