I heard someone say they made a photopolymer base using MDF and some other stuff that I can’t remember now…Anyone have experience with this and if so, could you give me some general tips/materials used so I can get cranking on making my own?
While I was in graduate school a professor of mine did some extensive research about this. Our Pilot didn’t have a chase, and the budget that year was pretty restrictive, so while we waited for the on-campus machine shop to make a chase for us we built the chase into our CNC-routed blocks.
Take a look at the following video for more info (CNC chase demo starts at 7:16)
I made one when I was in grad school and completely broke, and needed one that was larger than the school had. I used mdf for the base, placed a sheet of grid paper on top, then screwed a piece of plexiglas on top, trapping the grid paper in between. I counter-sunk the screws just a little so that there would be no risk to damaging the rollers.
This worked for what I was printing, but I wasn’t printing any fine text, just my own drawings. I think using a hard wood is a great idea, but again, was too expensive for me at the time.
Instead of screwing it all together, you could also try spray-on adhesive, or some other adhesive that you apply in a thin, smooth coat. Any variation in the glue will show in the print (on my first attempt, I randomly squirted some glue on the mdf, and that glue pattern showed up on every print!).
This was just a temporary solution – I saved all my dimes and nickels to get a Boxcar base, and I’ll stick to it from now on 🙂