Here’s a genuinely different way of displaying artworks or your finest photos – print them on metal. Australian company Print2Metal has been developing the technique over several years, during which their results have been described as “breathtaking”, with “brilliant colour” and “vibrant depth”.
The company uses its Australian-developed method of infusing colour dyes onto specially-coated aluminium, creating results that are not only visually stunning, but also tough. The recycled aluminium base is waterproof, scratch resistant and won’t rust or go mouldy, even in those regions of Australia with high humidity. Four finishes are available – ‘Ultra Gloss’, ‘Brushed Aluminium Gloss’, ‘Brushed Aluminium’ and ‘Matt’.
Printer and owner of Print2Metal, Mr Frank Hoekstra, told me that “thanks to a new range of new high-end finishes invisible to the eye, our metal prints will now be UV stable in direct sunlight for a minimum of 10 years, extending their use of these images to outdoor displays.”
To test the results, I had a sample printed of my concrete rainbow photo at A4 (210 x 297mm), a size which costs $75 plus postage; the result was excellent, with a unique quality in the way it reflects different levels of light.
The prices range up to $475 plus postage for the largest (30 x 45 inches) size of print, which might seem high compared with conventional prints, though less so when you consider that they don’t need framing or covering by glass or Perspex.
The ability to manufacture even bigger prints is planned for the future, but for now multiple prints can depict a single picture. They can even be curved like a wave! Metal prints are also lighter than canvas photo prints and renters can safely hang them using 3M’s Velcro picture hanging strips.
This article was originally written by me for Smart Home Ideas Magazine Autumn 2012.