Glowforge mentioned in Wired article on letterpress printing

This brief article on the rise in popularity of letterpress printing ends with a few paragraphs about making new type using a Glowforge. :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing this! I love the application of technology to an old craft, very similar to some things I’ve got planned.


The Excelsior is still up on St. Louis for $525. I’d be getting it for sure if I didn’t just get a 3D printer. Still might. Especially with the Glowforge shoutout for letterpress.

So many wonderful things!!!


I’ve spent far too many hours over the last week researching letterpress, all thanks to @marmak3261’s original post on the Excelsior. I think I’m going to try building a bottle jack type press to start with. Although those tabletop presses are very tempting. If I see one fairly local for a good deal I might jump on it.


Is anyone here familiar with letterpress printing and the L letterpress for use in die cutting tools recommended by Boxcar? Boxcar makes photopolymer plates for use with it, but would it be practical to laser engrave plates for it with the :glowforge:? Would acrylic be the best choice, or some other material?

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Yes! I teach typography and this right here is one of the (many) reasons why I wanted to get a Glowforge!


I’ve been reading up about this and folks have used wood, linoleum, rubber and polymer stamp material to make plates for letterpress printing. Delrin would be good and strong, but it is relatively expense. Acrylic engraves great, but I’m wondering about how strong it would be. It can be brittle.


dan mention successfully using acrylic for leather stamping, at least, that delrin wasn’t strictly necessary especially if you’re trying to save money…paper shouldn’t require any more force than leather, surely?

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Once you’re properly set up, the impression force for letterpress is not so much. I think acrylic (especial if/when we can do sloped edges, but even before that with stepped edges) should be fine for the number of impressions you’d be likely to make with any given image.

Type metal is not all that strong, wear-resistant or ductile either. The main deal was not shrinking on cooling so that it filled the letterforms.