MIR Raport by Julia van Hulst

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Maker-in-residence report

Author Julia van Hulst Date 02.11.2020

Intro to Riso

Riso printers are like silkscreens. They print different layers on top of each other. Each layer is converted into a master, from which the prints printed. Usually, a riso printer prints two masters at the same time, like the one from the image that is located in the Makers Lab.


Inside you see the two rolls on which the masters are printed.


In short, a layer in a document gets converted to a master in the printer, which has a colour.

If you would like to print more than two colours, you can create a third master and reprint the design on your paper. For my first encounter with the riso printer, I just used two colours and therefore two layers in my pdf document.

This is the ProCreate file with the two layers already on top of each other.


The Riso printer doesn't use ink, but oil on soy basis. This oil is contracted from vegetable soybeans. Therefore, it never really dries. Especially the darker colours take a long time to adhere to the paper. This is why it's important to use uncoated paper, which has a little rougher structure than 'normal' coated paper.


Just take your layered pdf document with you and make sure you got some uncoated paper! I would recommend A3, but A4 is also possible.


First you create a master from the computer connected to the riso printer.


As you can see, the master is actually printed on the roll. The grey grid it is printed on is made out of banana leaves. Super sustainable!

Master on roll.jpg

When you take the master off, it looks like this. The Riso printer does that by itself, you do not have to change the masters.

Bare master.jpg

The first layer is printed. It takes a couple of prints, 10 or so, for the oil to be fully visible.

First layer.jpg

Then I spotted a little spot on my print. You can't just remove it, this is not Illustrator! We had to decompose the whole machine again to see what went wrong.

Mistake print.jpg

Which was a little piece of metal, stuck underneath the master.

Mistake roll.jpg

The drying end results.