One of the main problems facing printmakers who want to work on metal plates is the cost of everything involved, from the plates (copper, zinc), to the printing machine itself.

From this perspective, PCB plates offer an interesting alternative. They can be etched with any kind of copper etchant (Ferric Chloride is standard), polished, and inked. They typically cost around half what copper costs, per square centimeter. The copper is, I suspect, better quality (since there really is no incentive to not adulterate copper sheet materials, whereas alloying copper for use in electrical circuits is, I think, a bad idea[^]).

The second interesting process is the use of plaster of paris, which can be poured onto an inked plate, and will through expansion, take an image (provided it’s contained by some kind of frame). This produces a plaster copy, which isn’t exactly ideal - but presumably beats giving up printmaking entirely due to the prohibitive cost of a real press.

An alternative to this would be to get your hands on some large steel bolts, the thicker the section the better, and use these (with lots of lube) to press stuff the stupid way. I was lucky enough to find an extremely large (15cm screw diameter) G clamp, which is a bit of a better solution, even though it’s not especially easy to spread the pressure evenly. For this purpose, I have a really big piece of solid rectangular-section steel.

[^]:Although, who knows?