printing on metal

Does anyone know how to print on metal? I'm toying with the ideal of custom making color photo etch details and I figured it would be
easier if their was a printer that would allow you to feed thin brass sheets into it and print directly on to it.
Any advice would be greatly apprecitated.
TIA Yauhang
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There is a transfer paper that will do this with laser printing. One prints the design in reverse (mirror image). The paper and design is then placed against the clean metal surface. An iron is then applied, which melts the wax and transfers the toner to the metal. One can make photo-etch this way too, as the toner is etch resistant. This method will NOT make as fine a line, nor detail, as the photo process, but is fine for somewhat larger detail. The stuff is called Pulsar Toner Transfer System.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

yman66,
Here are two photos of ink jet printing I did on plastic sheets.
Notice on the first one that the printing is backwards. This is because you have to add a spray of white paint over the printed image to kill the transparency. You then see the image through the plastic. For a correct image you have to print a reversed image.
I put the crease at the top so you can see it is plastic.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2v0d20x
The second photo was printed in reverse and shows the level of detail you can get this way.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=3yd767k
I have a cheap Canon BJC-3000 printer with a setting for thicker paper, but I taped plastic to the printer paper and ran it through using the regular setting with no problems. I know that many printers allow you to direct feed a flat sheet from the back.
I printed on the plastic by first coating it with Elmer's Washable School Glue Gel. You can find it anywhere school supplies are sold. A small bottle is about $1.25. Put some in a dish and stir water into it until it is foamy, actually frothy. Brush it on the plastic and it will smooth out to an even, crystal clear layer.
I haven't tried this on smooth, shiney metal so I can't say for sure how the Elmer's will stick to it, but I did run into a couple types of plastic that I first had to buff with fine steelwool. I would try that on the metal.
Keep in mind that ink jet ink and the Elmer's are subject to water damage. If your printed image is going to be handled, I think it would be best to give it a spray of Krylon clear, or Minwax Polycrylic, or Future if you can spray it, or maybe a dull coat spray.
I have never done anything involving photo etch, so I don't know if this will work for what you want.
Stewart
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