Daylight AQ Negative Film used for making photopolymer rubber stamps

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by stampmaker, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. stampmaker

    stampmaker Guest

    I need expert darkroom help.

    Moderator - if this is too far off topic, or judged to be spam, please

    I make rubber stamps from photopolymer resin.

    The first step is to produce a negative.

    The industry nowadays uses a product that is contact exposed to UV
    light and then washed out with a liquid developer in daylight.

    It goes by various trade names, the most common being IDEAL Daylight

    I think that these people are distributors and not the actual maker.

    I have had zero luck finding the actual maker of this product on the

    Do anyone have any idea what this product is, and who actually makes
    it? Or something similar?

    Below is a link that I hope explains it all.

    Best regards, thanks in advance


    and here is a cut from page 4 of 8 of the link

    The original stamp copy can be prepared in many different ways. The
    preferred method is ...

    If you are in the printing business and have a darkroom for
    preparation of negatives, make the negative just as you would for any
    printing job.

    Otherwise, you will use the Polymer Plus Unit to produce it in
    ordinary room light.

    To make a negative with the Polymer Plus Unit, the original copy must
    be laser printed on vellum paper.

    Vellum is translucent, allowing light to pass through.

    Simply insert our laser printer compatible vellum paper in the paper
    tray and print!

    The vellum original is placed in the Polymer Plus Unit along with a
    piece of "JMP Daylight Safe Negative Film."

    After exposure to ultraviolet light for about a minute and a half the
    negative film is sprayed with a "water-based developer solution".

    Then it is swished with a soft cotton pad and rinsed with running tap

    Just like that, an exceptionally high quality negative is made.
    stampmaker, Sep 30, 2007
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  2. stampmaker

    Peter Guest

    I don't think I understand what specific help you want. I hope you
    noticed that an initial set-up is over $3000. My impression is that
    the market for rubber stamps is limited and possibly declining.
    Peter, Sep 30, 2007
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  3. stampmaker

    stampmaker Guest

    I am hoping someone will be able to point me to the manufacturer of
    the negative film.

    stampmaker, Oct 1, 2007
  4. stampmaker

    Peter Guest

    They call it JMP and thus seem to convey an idea that it is made by
    Jackson Marketing Products. Since they expose it in UV light and
    develop it, it sounds a lot like photographic film. If you have some,
    I suppose you might study its properties a bit and see if Kodak,
    Ilford or some other has a similar item. Still, from what they say,
    its a little unclear what properties success would depend on; exposing
    under UV lights suggests a film that is quite insensitive. Amost all
    developers contain more water than anything else (and might be said to
    be water based). Most other film would easily be exposed under
    incandescent light and developed in any number of other developers
    (although in relatively dark conditions or red light). Thereby it
    would not be necessary to have the special machine with UV lights.

    I am guessing that what is necessary for your use is some degree of
    contrast, and an economical medium. Photographic film (e.g., some of
    the lithographic films) sound like what might work. Why it would be
    good to have a film that needs UV exposure isn't clear to me.
    Peter, Oct 1, 2007
  5. Keep in mind that since the film is only UV-sensitive, and rather
    insensitive at that, it can easily be processed in daylight without the
    need for a darkroom. I'm guessing that's why the OP is interested in it.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 1, 2007
  6. I hate to bring this up in an analog photographic group, but to me this
    seems to be a perfect application of digital photography. After all it
    is strictly black and white, with no grays at all, it's big, and it's
    very low resolution.

    It could be done cheaply with a scanner or digital camera, a simple
    image manipulation program (e.g. he GIMP) and a black laser printer.

    The only thing out of the ordinary would be to use transparency film instead
    of paper in the printer, and that's available in any large office supply

    The OP said that the setup he needed cost $3,000. A cheap computer,
    scanner. laser printer and LCD monitor would total less than $500,
    a considerable savings.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 1, 2007
  7. stampmaker

    Peter Guest

    Actually, I was almost afraid to suggest that it be done digitally,
    but I don't see why not. I don't think there is a real need to scan
    anything, it appears to be just text for a rubber stamp (type it in).
    It is possible to print on transparent media. Even so, I imagined
    there might be a reason why not. It is another possibility to check.
    When I asked, he seemed very sure he wanted to find some film ... so I
    tried to limit myself to that.

    Without a scanner the solution would be less capital investment. What
    would the materials cost? So far, I find film (especially B&W) is
    still cheap.
    Peter, Oct 1, 2007
  8. I assumed there would be a need for artwork too. Here every business
    and licensed professional has to have a rubber stamp with their
    ID number, license number etc. They don't require any artwork,
    so you would be right, he can run a sucessfull business without

    It makes sense to answer the question as it was asked, but I figured
    he may not even be aware of the computer solution. To me it looked
    like he saw something he wanted and asked for it.

    I don't know, but I think that the clear plastic sheets for lazer
    (or inkjet printers if he could use one) is a lot cheaper than
    sensitzed film of any sort.

    The cost of toner and ink is trivial if you base it on a one time
    investment with the printer (and they are usually included).
    Of course if you use the computer for other things such as printing
    invoices and flyers, etc the cost of toner can go up quickly.

    Since I have no idea of where he is, I can't begin to guess what his
    costs would be. Here a cheap computer, LCD monitor, laser printer and
    scanner would cost about 5000 NIS, which is about $1200.

    Dropping off the scanner and going to an inkjet printer would be
    save about $300. Inkjet printouts tend to run, but you can buy
    a lot of fixative spray for the difference in price.

    I occasionaly see used computers, laser printers and scanners
    available for free. Not the newest, but enough to produce
    what he needs. I expect that if he is in the U.S. he would
    have no trouble finding what he needs on Freecycle and similar lists.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 1, 2007
  9. One problem, perhaps a show-stopper in this case, is that laser printers
    don't print an opaque black, nowhere near the opacity of photographic
    film. Given the intense light source used and the length of exposure, it
    may not be possible to use a laser-printed "negative", as the black
    parts will simply let too much light through.

    I was also thinking of the possibility of inkjet-printed "negatives",
    but I think they'd have the same shortcoming. In this case there may be
    no substitute for film.

    I also have no real idea of what the O.P. wants to do here, but another
    solution would be to get their hands on an old filmsetter, hook it up to
    a computer and generate film that way. (Think of a filmsetter as a fancy
    laser printer that outputs film instead of paper, including a wet
    processing unit.) Since printers are getting rid of them left and right
    as they start going direct-to-plate, they can be had pretty cheaply. A
    shop I recently worked in had one that another printer *gave* to them
    (it was an Agfa unit).
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 1, 2007
  10. stampmaker

    stampmaker Guest

    Thanks very much for the ideas so far

    Perhaps I need to explain myself a bit more.

    We have been in business for 6 years now, we long ago bought and paid
    for the equipment.

    I should have explained the process a bit more.

    We lay down a thin layer of liquid resin (about the consistency of
    honey) between 2 glass sheets. The negative goes on top of this
    sandwich. The resin is cured any where UV light shines through. The
    uncured resin is scrubbed off to make the stamp.

    The resin will cure in sunlight, but much slower. The machine uses
    UVB "burn your eyes out" industrial lamps, and cures the resin rock
    hard in less than 45 seconds.

    So I assume the machine designers came up with a way to make negatives
    using the machine and its UV bulbs to avoid darkroom work and
    equipment. Clever actually.

    You guys are sharp. As you suggest, another method is use photo shop
    to make a negative and laser print it on transparency film. The
    problem as you guessed is that the black must be totally dark and
    dense, and this just eats toner cartridges. Small hobby users do just

    Our current problem is that our suppliers are also stamp makers
    themselves and we are getting to a size where they notice us and we
    are now having "supply problems". Unfair but there you are.

    I am going to Google film setter to see what I can learn, that idea
    sounds interesting.

    Somewhere I got the idea that this was an AGFA product, but I can't
    find anything like it on their website.

    Thanks, again for the help

    stampmaker, Oct 2, 2007
  11. stampmaker

    Rob Morley Guest

    I don't suppose a liquid crystal panel would block the UV?
    Rob Morley, Oct 2, 2007
  12. Not nearly high enough resolution even if it did, I'd guess.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 2, 2007
  13. After that, try looking on eBay for one, or better yet on Craigslist if
    your area is covered there. Bet you can find one really cheap.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 2, 2007
  14. stampmaker

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Peter Irwin, Oct 2, 2007
  15. That may not be as big a problem as you think. Canon, who made the first
    laser printers PC's did not make their printer's toner refillable. The
    "toner" cartridges they sold (and still sell AFAIK) contain toner, an
    imaging drum and several other parts. The retail cost of the toner is
    less than 15% the cost of a cartridge, possibly less.

    If you can find a laser printer where the toner can be refilled, or find
    a cartridge refiller that will work with you, you can do it for far less

    Don Lancaster, who wrote many electronics engineering books, used to
    publish instructions on how to refill toner cartridges around 1990.
    I don't know if his website still has that information, but I'm sure
    you can find that easily.

    Depending upon how careful you are when refilling it, you can get 3-4
    and with some printers as many as 10 refills out of a cartridge before
    the drum fails.

    Another way to do it is to rent/buy a copier where you only add toner
    to it. The per page cost of these is relatively low. You print out the
    "artwork" a regular printer and then copy it using the copy machine.

    The other possibility is an inkjet printer. My GUESS is that the ink
    in regular cartridges is not opaque to UV light. IMHO an inkjet printer
    would be better, because the ink spreads before it dries, covering any
    gaps between the drops. A few emails or phone calls to people who sell
    custom ink cartridges and refilling supplies may get you a source of
    UV opaque ink.

    There are also all sorts of computer controlled milling machines for doing
    these type of things. The most common are for making signs using plastic
    laminates. I have no idea if they would work or could be adapted.

    To me, that would make the most sense, you just put the rubber blank
    in the machine and it cuts away any material you don't want.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 2, 2007
  16. stampmaker

    Rob Morley Guest

    If you have to print it before copying it rather defeats the purpose,
    don't you think?
    Rob Morley, Oct 2, 2007
  17. No. You can set the laser printer to use less toner and the copy machine
    to use more. In the end you get the same toner rich negative, but
    you've used the much cheaper copy machine toner.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 2, 2007
  18. stampmaker

    stampmaker Guest

    stampmaker, Oct 3, 2007
  19. stampmaker

    Peter Irwin Guest


    Kodak appears to have a very similar product called
    "Kodak Precision Line Contact Film UCA7"

    See :

    Kodak says their product can be devloped in regular lith
    developers as well as the RA chemicals. I would expect
    the same might be true of the Agfa product, though
    Agfa doesn't say so on their site.

    Peter Irwin, Oct 3, 2007
  20. Hate to rain on the parade, but I don't think 'line film' is
    what you are looking for. 'line film' is a lith film optimized
    for printed circuit board applications. It is developed and
    fixed just like any other black and white film.

    OTOH, if you are willing to spring for a couple of trays,
    some lith film developer and some fix you can use this to
    prepare your negatives with not much worry. It won't be as
    black/white as what you are used to and you are going to have to
    spend some time messing about. Figure 50 sheets of film will
    be sacrificed.

    If you can work under red lights then a plain-ole-lith-film
    is the easiest and cheapest approach, you expose it with any old
    white light. See

    The stuff you were/are using is a pigmented gum-arabic-like emulsion
    that hardens with UV light exposure.

    The developer is most likely a 1% lye solution (does it feel soapy?)
    that washes away the unhardened emulsion.

    The result is a negative with only blacks and whites and _no_
    greys. The same process is used for making printing plates - that's
    what UV 'plate burners' are for.

    This, or something very like it, was sold by 3M for do-it-yourself
    signs - however they no longer make it.

    My guess is that M&R Marking may indeed be the manufacturer
    of the film and they sell it as 'Ideal AQ'.

    I am not sure why you are looking for who makes it rather than
    who sells it [and lots of people sell it]... if it is to 'cut out
    the middle man' you will probably have to order a pallet-full
    of the stuff from the factory. The stuff was pricey when 3M
    made and sold it. It may be cheap as dirt to make but the market
    isn't very big.

    Any large user of black/white film will have a darkroom, vacuum
    contacting frame, process camera etc. etc. and be using silver-based
    film (freestyle/arista, above).
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 3, 2007
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