Polymer Plate Shopping

Just wondering who out there uses different Polymer plate services (develop, process) that has good prices per square inch and good quality. I have a Boxcar base for a platen press, just wondering what my price alternatives are. Thanks!

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Hmmm. Good quality AND good prices. Far too much to ask for.

If what you are really looking for is lower prices than Boxcar, well that is easy enough, shop around. Google.


I’ve got to agree with Gerald. While prices do vary a little between various vendors, it should not be the primary consideration. As in many things, you get what you pay for when buying printing plates…. and QUALITY is what you really want, even if it costs a little more. The end results will more than justify the expense.

However…. if cost IS a concern, you may want to look into alternative platemaking methods like woodcuts, linoleum cuts, or hand-cut soft plastic plates for your illustrations and art…. and use store-bought PP plates only for finely detailed work that can’t easily be carved.

I use lazer-cut wood blocks for the bulk of my work nowadays….. but I still hand-cut a lot of simpler illustrations. It’s quick and easy once you get the hang of it.


AKA Winking Cat Press

Thanks Dave, I remember your laser article, that’s the route I want to go to, just wondering how good a cheaper laser really is, I’ve not seen any results yet. Cost is a factor but I understand the quality issue….thanks!!! :)

It can also depend on your location. I have always had good experiences with Boxcar in the past, however, i am in CA, and it seems kooky to me to send for plates on the other side of the country.
I was able to find a couple of good options here in the Bay Area, which helps save on shipping, turnaround time, and carbon footprint (if that’s a thing for you).
Do some poking around, and see who turns up. :)