Paper Making (Again)

More experiments in making (recycled) paper at home…

I made some paper… again. The first attempt used a small 3D printed mold and deckle, and this time around I made a new (slightly larger) mold and deckle.

I also experimented a bit more with the paper, this time using paper from our paper shredder and mixing in a few “raw” pieces to some sheets. The results are definitely interesting.

I tried a new technique with the hydraulic press after they were all dry as well. Last time I stacked them all and flattened them in the press, and you can see the screen texture in those. This time I did that, and then followed up with pressing them with a piece of wood between each individual sheet. Some of them came out incredibly flat and smooth! I’m curious to see how they take ink when printing on them.

Some of them are a lot more ragged around the edges. (That’s the “deckle edge” you know.)

Here’s a few I added shredded paper to that was not blended or soaked, just tossed onto the pulp before drying. It seems embedded really well and certainly gives a look.

A bit more closeup view… you can see and read some of the type, which I think could be really interesting since Dana shredded sensitive documents. There’s probably a whole project there all on its own.

Because I printed this larger mold and deckle on my (small) Prusa MINI+ I split it in half in OpenSCAD, printed the parts, then glued them together. When assembled this one is about 165mm x 224mm and the paper comes out around 145mm x 204mm.

Printing in halves and gluing together mostly worked. I had to print small shims on the side to make it more rigid, but now I really want to make an even larger one! (Though I will need a larger pulp bucket then.)

Magnets embedded into the corners of the mold and deckle work to hold the whole thing together with the screen between the two parts. I’m happy with how this turned out. I just made holes and stuck 1/4″ cylindrical magnets into the holes (making note of polarity) and then shot some hot glue in the holes to hold them in place. (Yeah, sometimes hot glue it quicker and easier than perfectly modeling a hole with friction bumps.)

Despite a few issues combining the halves to make a whole, I’m quite pleased with how the mold and deckle turned out, and I’m sure I’ll experiment with others in the future, especially since it’s trivial to make any shape… round, hexagonal, triangular? No need to be confined to a rectangle. (And yes, I’m very happy with the paper as well!)

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