I just found a wonderful alternative to P-n-P and Imageon, though it
does require that you work flat and no thinker than 18 ga. The
product is called Toner Transfer System from Pulsar - www.pulsar.gs.
It's a two step process that's incredibly simple and easy. You do
have to purchase a laminator. I got mine at Office Max - the brand
recommended to me by the TTS rep was a GBC H200 for around $130.00.
The TTS image transferring medium is inexpensive and there is a
second stage Film called GreenTRF that seals the Toner. You use the
TTF paper on a laserprinter or copier, copy your image on to it
then, run it face down on your metal through the laminator, then
submerge it in cold water until the paper lifts off ( about a
minute). The toner is left behind on the metal. You dry it off, run
it through the laminator with the GreenTRF sheet over the toner and
it seals it for etching. I managed to do a very deep etch without it
eating away or under cutting. I worked on nickle silver with ferric
acid. It was a very intricate image with spanish white vine work.
Because I worked in 18ga, the laminator was a little cranky about
the thickness and I had to help it through. There are bigger GBC
laminators that can handle thinker materials, but I didn't want to
go to that expense. I also had to run it through the laminator 2-3
times with the TTS paper, but I think that was also related to the
thickness of the metal.
I was really impressed with how easy it was to work with. You didn't
need any extra chemicals or developers. I've never had a lot of luck
with P-n-P. I always seemed to get air bubbles when transferring the
design to metal. I am thinking about trying it again though with the
laminator. What I was told was that the secret of the transfer
working is actually the pressure, which the laminator is able to
apply more evenly and harder than a person can by themselves.
It took me less than 15 minutes start to finish to prep my piece. I
used packing tape on the back and edges to protect them from etching
and hung the piece face down in the acid bath using the packing tape
again to hold it in place. That way I get a fast deep etch.
I highly recommend it! I have no affiliation with the manufacturer,
just a very happy customer.
By the way, I was on a very tight schedule, left a message on their
voicemail after hours. They called me that same evening and were
extremely helpful and informative. My order was in the mail the next
Oh and by the way, the paper can also be used for temporary tattoos -
which my 8 year old daughter was delight to hear about.
Starr Design - Minnesota