Photopolymer washout

Ok so here’s my situation. I would like to make 18” x 24” photopolymer plates with as deep relief as possible and as precise as possible but don’t have the $15k or so to spend on a complete machine.

That being said what I do have is access to a very good very large silkscreen exposure unit and conveyor shirt dryers so I have that part covered.

From what I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with folks who’ve given a go at hand washing this is not an option for me as I’m doing multicolor super tight precise registration.

Basically I want the quality I get from boxcar for less than $300 a plate.

So it seems that I need a washout unit. When I google them I get Chinese equipment r us or Indian flexomatic sites. Where can I find a used or new washout unit?

Any and all help and advice is hugely appreciated in advance!


~ Josh

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Registration is more a function of your artwork, negatives and exposure than it is washout. I’ve hand washed many, many tight registration PP plates without any difficulty with registration. If they are exposed right, they tend to wash out just fine. A plate washer is a nice piece of equipment and it does make the work easier. However, once you learn what you are doing it does not produce “better” plates.

Before you invest a ton of money or give up on hand washing your plates, I’d recommend that you give it a try. If it works for me, I’d guess that it would work for you, too.

(beware of the nay-sayers…. someone will always tell you what can’t be done.)

You might check this one out. It is in nice shape he calls it a letterpress plate maker but it looks like a flexo processor to me. It is on the Chicago Craigs list under letterpress. Price has went from 2000-3000 to make offer

@winkingcat - thanks. my set up for hand washing isn’t the most ideal. I don’t really have a good sized sink. I really only have bathroom sized sinks. I’d need to install a reataurant szed sink to washout my 18”x24” plates and we are on the 3rd floor in a factory so hozes are right out. We do have a powerwashing station for reclaiming screens but I think this would be too much for the plates.

I just think a washout unit will work best for me so I can spend more time printing and less time platemaking.

@toddspresstime - Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out