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The Crawler

The Crawler is a modular tool for preparing copper plates suitable for the mezzotint printmaking technique. The design consists of modules that are mechanically linked to work in unison. Each module features two MezzoMonster jigs that each hold a six-inch rocker blade. End brackets connect the modules, which are offset to produce an inter-locking pattern.

The simplest configuration of the Crawler with two modules is shown in the render. I use a Crawler with five modules—see the video below—and I have used this machine to rock a three by four foot copper plate within a few days. This jig has a few benefits over hand rocking with a traditional pole rocker. First, a large Crawler assembly drastically reduces the time it takes to rock a large copper plate; moreover it makes rocking large plates more efficient than rocking small ones. While the machine itself is rather heavy, the effort involved in its operation is very different from traditional rocking methods. This helps reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries occurring from rocking plates (carpal tunnel, bursitis, etc.).

The Crawler and MezzoMonster are licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license. You can find more information and my entire project files hosted on Thingiverse.  You can also purchase a pre-assembled Crawler: for more information or a quote, send me an email.