Anderson Vreeland AV Star

This is the product I was referring to in my previous post.

It seems as though it will print a negative at 2880 ppi. Dmax - 3.6 - 4.0 It says it is made for screen printing etc, does not mention polymer for letterpress.

I am sure the entire system ( rip software, computer, printer ) would cost a fortune. The printer however is just the latest model epson printer. Would love to hear the opinions of those more experienced

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I just spoke with my rep at AV - “about $14,000”

apparently the ink head is changed at the manufacturer to be able to print up to 110 LPI - using it as is with their film and ink would get you about 60 LPI - you would have the right density but not the line screen - again, I do not know what line screen is required - minimum / maximum.

The high end Epson printers with RIP and film generating capability do produce a fairly high quality negative. Not quite as high as standard silver-based film negatives though. And you can process these without a hitch on any photopolymer plate processing machine.

You’d have to be churning out an awful lot of film though to justify the unit cost. Besides the cost of the printer, etc.,. these printers eat up an awful lot of expensive ink.


Hi Gerald right now my plate costs are between $200 - $300 per week. A few people have emailed me suggesting a used image setter might be better. Then I hear from others, dont do that - they can’t be repaired, you can’t get film etc etc..

I have the exposure unit, vacuum bed etc just need a way to make a negative.

Is there no film houses in your area? I make film regularly in my shop for polymer use and it comes out perfect every time. Have had polymer type as small as 4 pt and was still readable. Bob

Hi Bob, yes there is one. They are soon going CTP though. What do you use for film output? I would think with everyone going away from film the streets would be littered with imagesetters - some have to be affordable and reliable

Paul . If you know theres a setter soon to be outed you should grab it ,sure you cant get parts but the problems are usually with the drives on the wash out and that just means you have to learn to dev by hand which to be honest is not that much trouble if its saving you 1000 a month .

For us it seems like a bargain to pay $8 per 8 x 11 for a high quality negative vs. keeping up with chemistry and having the equipment to maintain. But, we do make our own plates.

Negatives are sort of like engraving, embossing, or steel rule dies for us. We just do not do enough to justify bringing that in house. We have good vendors locally that provide quick turns for negatives and those type of dies.

I have test plates on the way made with negatives from the AV star. Looking forward to getting them and testing. I will post the results when it arrives.

Please disregard the un even ink, I had my rollers too low, then wiped the plate, just whipped off a quick test print with the plate.

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