Monthly Archives: August 2018

  • How to Make Your Own Blueprint Paper: a DIY Guide

    blueprintsMost of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output. Most of these offices use blueprints for countless everyday projects and designs. And while it's typically best to buy your blueprints paper from a reputable supplier, it's possible to create it yourself using a fascinating chemical process. Here's a quick rundown of the DIY blueprint creation process.


    For this project, you'll need 15 mL of 10% potassium hexacyanoferrate(III) (potassium ferricyanide) and 15 mL of 10% iron(III) ammonium citrate solution. You'll also need a petri dish, tongs, white paper, and a small, opaque object such as a key or a coin.


    This process must be completed in the dark or in a very dim room. Start by combining the potassium ferricyanide and the iron(III) ammonium citrate solutions in the petri dish. Stir slightly to mix, then drag a sheet of paper across the top of the dish with the tongs to cover it. Let it dry completely, in the dark, coated side up. It's important to make sure it doesn't get exposed to light.

    When the image is ready to be captured, overlay the ink drawing on tracing paper or clear plastic, or use an opaque object before exposing the blueprint paper to direct sunlight. Let the paper develop in the sunlight for around 20 minutes, cover the paper again, and return to the darkroom to rinse the paper thoroughly and complete the process. Rinsing is an integral component of the process, and skipping this step could ruin the image.

    "Thoroughly rinse the blueprint paper under cold running water. It's fine to have the lights on. If you do not rinse away any unreacted chemicals, the paper will darken over time and ruin the image. However, if all the excess chemicals are rinsed away, you'll be left with a permanent colorfast image of your object or design," writes Anna Marie Helmenstine on ThoughtCo.

    The 2016 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards reported that there are 109,748 architects in the United States, and while this is a fascinating DIY project, it's best to buy blueprints and other engineering paper from a reputable supplier to ensure the highest possible quality and performance. For more information about bulk engineering paper, contact Get Paper.

  • 4 Tips for Proper Storage of Your Plotter Vinyl Rolls

    plotter vinyl rollsYour plotter vinyl rolls are essential for your job, and you want to make sure you store them correctly. Improper storage can lead to serious frustration in the long run. Here are some tips to help you properly store your vinyl paper rolls.

    Establish ideal storage temperature

    One of the first things you should do when storing your plotter vinyl rolls is make sure the storage temperature is at or below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Storage temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit accelerate adhesive degradation. They can also reduce the bond of your graphics significantly after a year or two. Keep the plotter paper rolls in the coolest part of your shop or warehouse to assure that they are in good shape when you need them.

    Avoid excess humidity and water contact

    Paper and moisture don't mix well, and you probably know that. Excessive humidity or even outright water contact will damage all your paper and paper-based release liners. If you're lucky, any unprotected product might wick off the moisture along the cut edge, develop waviness, and become difficult to manage when in use. Worse case scenario, though, is that your vinyl paper rolls will be completely ruined and unusable.

    Avoid surface pressure

    Extreme pressure on any surface of your paper rolls will result in surface marring, also known as mottling. It can completely ruin a roll of vinyl paper. This is especially true if you've stacked multiple rolls on top of each other, or if a roll has rested on its side for an extended period of time. Vinyl is soft enough to take a pressure mark, depending on the finish (matte versus gloss). You should store your plotter vinyl rolls vertically instead of horizontally because there is far less pressure when the rolls are vertical.

    Inventory management

    Finally, when you're storing your paper rolls, you should keep in mind that it's a good idea to know what you have on hand at all times. If you can't really see what you have or how much is left on a roll, it's more likely to sit around for a long time. You will also probably shuffle it around a lot in that time, which isn't good. Take the time to label partial boxes or protective bags so you know what you have in storage.

    The very first plotter was invented in 1953. If you're using one of these amazing machines, you need plotter paper. To properly store your plotter paper, follow these tips listed above. It can save you a lot of money and frustration from ruined vinyl paper.

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