Making my mother some stamps with COLOP Photopolymer

My mother, after seeing my doodles and watercolor  post, suggested that I try making stamps, which sounded fun.   I had most of the equipment from other projects to give it a go.  All I really needed was the photopolymer.   After ordering a bottle of COLOP photopolymer off amazon, it showed up a few days later (it wasn’t even amazon prime, so I was impressed).

My first idea was to shove it into my 3D printer.  The whole idea behind my new printer was that it uses UV Resin, which is what a photopolymer is.   Shine a UV light on it and it cures.   It turns out that this stamping resin is so highly viscous that it’s barely a liquid and 3D printer resin is still quite liquid.   I started pouring it into the printer and it was hard to stop it from pouring because it was pulling itself out of the bottle.

Well, I can tell you that didn’t go well.   It was far too thick and the printer didn’t like it.  After editing the 3D printer’s program to see if I could make it work, I found the cured photopolymer wasn’t sticking to the platform and just ended up making a mess.

I decided to go old school and grabbed 2 pieces of glass and some foam tape.  I created negatives with my inkjet printer on some transparency paper and shoved it all into a UV lamp.

stamp making under led uv lights

Instantly, I was getting great results.   1 minute on each side under the lamp produced usable stamps.

first photopolymer stamp a success

The first one was of a latte cup I downloaded off a clip art site.   And then my second try was my pumpkin from the previous post.

turning my doodles into rubber stamps

This one wasn’t great, but I’m glad I did it.  It helped me learn the limits of what I can jam in there.   The pumpkin had a lot of tiny crosshatching in the drawing and the stamp only picked up some of that.   I’ll have to redo this one after removing the crosshatching from the image (or maybe i’ll just be lazy and use a sharpie on the negative to cover them up).

I’m going to try the printer again since it would be easier to use the LCD screen to produce negatives rather than printing, but at least I got some stamps out of this adventure.

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