I am a massive fan of the Open Press Project. Designed by KISD Köln International School of Design student Martin Schneider for his final degree piece, it is the world's first 3D-printed printmaking press. Yes, that's right, mind blown, I know.
Martin obviously has a clear love of printmaking, particularly intaglio processes. However, as he identified these are not always that accessible. They require an etching press which can be expensive and also often quite large so a good amount of space is needed. I have definitely come up against this problem. I could just about make the space issue work in my tiny studio, but haven't quite been able to invest yet in a press (£1500 upwards).
Looking to address this problem he worked through various prototypes, printed lots of test prints and used more than 'a kilometer of filament'.
On a mission to make printmaking accessible to everyone.
What Martin has ended up with meets the brief and more - a portable printing press that costs only 5€ of material and can be printed by everyone with access to a 3D-printer. What really makes this accessible is that the plans/print files are completely free to use and can be downloaded from the project's website.....and that's exactly what I did as soon as I heard about it.
I couldn't be happier with my little press, it has after all, allowed me to start printing mini prints at home. The project has grown and grown, including an exhibition of all the mini prints printed around the world using the Open Press and more recently a Kickstarter campaign to get the word out further. Go Martin, you totally deserve all the support and excitement around your fantastic project!
To find out more click here.