Photopolymer intaglio plates are better known as "solar plates" because they can actually be exposed using the sun as a UV light source. These plates are designed for acid-free etching and acid-free photogravure. After exposure to a UV light source they are processed in plain water for a few minutes, dried and hardened with an additional exposure of UV. Traditionally, these plates are used in conjunction with an exposing screen and a film positive.
It is also possible to print images direct-to-plate using ConeColor and Piezography UltraHD™ Matte Black ink using the Epson printer driver in black ink only mode at 1440dpi. The inkjet dithering will eliminate the need for both a film positive and an exposing screen film.
Recently, Cone Editions Press developed a new method of direct-to-plate printing. Their current state of the art includes 3 different black inks used with their proprietary printer driver which can print up to 5760dpi. The driver assimilates aquatint with a pseudo randomized printing of different sized micro dots of ink. Further, Cone Editions Press created a calibration system for matching customer's display images to the final print. Cone Editions has nearly two decades experience in traditional copperplate aquatint photogravure process and developed their method as a direct comparison. This process is not being released as a Piezography product, but the platemaking services are available online directly from Cone Editions Press (located in the same facility as InkjetMall!)