FT26V3UP Flip Top Plate Burner

I have an opportunity to pick up a FT26V3UP Flip Top Plate Burner cheap ($100). Can it be used for photo polymer plates? or be modified to do so? Is the conversion worth it?



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This has come up a few times before in the past, and in short the answer seems to be yes, but your plate washout will have to be done by hand of course. Depending on how much experience you have with platemaking, you may not achieve the same results as a professional platemaker, so you may need to use your hand-washed plates with lower detail artwork. You will also need to source a good solution for separations to expose with.

So, yes, but caveat: washing is a skill, and don’t expect it to instantly work. Still need to figure out the proper exposure and be prepared to waste some plates.

I have a similar exposure unit. I think you may need a different bulb. The ones used for offset litho plates use a different wavelength than is required for photopolymer. I have searched the Internet for info and have decided that to find out for sure, I’d need to contact Nu-Arc.
They do not have an Internet presence.

Has anyone else had experience with this? I’d love to revive this old topic if anyone is using similar equipment?

Well, I used a NuArc 26-1K tabletop unit to expose relief photopolymer plates for over a decade. It does work, but exposures are much longer than the typical 3.5 minutes of a Polimero or A-V Orbital. My worst case was an exposure of 45 minutes to hold fine detail.
Modern subtractive offset plates have photopolymer emulsions, so it is not the wavelength that is the problem. Light intensity is one factor, and the fact that this is a point-light source is another. To get an efficient exposure of relief photopolymer a bank of tubes very close to the exposure plane gives light that spreads under the image in the negative to build a stable body. With point light, over 18 inches away, the body is built by diffusion of the light through the photopolymer emulsion, and that takes a longer time. I sometimes put a big tube of index paper over the glass to bounce the light diagonally, but a flip-top would need a different approach.
I didn’t so much mind the long exposures, but going through a processing cycle (exposure washout drying cooling post-exposure proofing) and seeing there was lost detail and the plate needed to be remade was very frustrating. Half a day shot.
The larger the plate, the harder it gets.
It is so much easier with a proper relief exposure unit, especially one with washout. Quick and consistant.

Thank you parallel Imp, very helpful for me. Cheers.