December 18, 2005

Gocco Gonzo

Please do me a favor and don't tell me about anything cool. Especially if it's just going out of production, like the Print Gocco, for example.

No sooner did I find out what a Gocco was--an incredibly easy-to-use home silkscreen/printer for making things like, say, Space Invader Onesies--than I find out the Japanese manufacturer has recently decided to discontinue them.

So get your crafty little butts in gear and find a way to save Gocco. Or at least jam on over to some craft stores and start hoarding machines and materials. THEN start working on saving Gocco. [surprise, most ideas revolve around printing flyers. via Make]
Print Gocco going out of business [crafters at supernaturale]

[update: because without Gocco, what will happen to the people making these, um, what are they? vaginal birth announcements? The rest of the Gocco flickr pool is predictably much cutier.]


yeah sorry about that. we're super bummed too. time to start stocking up on supplies.

[looking around, I can't see why someone can't recreate this as a cottage industry/product and formulate inks and materials that are compatible with the existing install base. If there really is such a vast or loyal user base, and if the technology is 25+ years old, it should be wide open for cloning, easy. if someone can make and market a Pez MP3 player, someone can save the Gocco. -ed.]

I've heard people say that Print Gocco's flashbulb-based technique for making screen masters is much easier to use than traditional chemical/solution-based screenmaking. After searching through Riso's US patents, I think the patent expired on this technique and technology at least seven years ago.

I think this is Riso Kagaku's main Print Gocco patent for creating the screen masters:

Heat-sensitive copying method for preparation of printing stencils

It was issued in 1978 as an extension of an original 1973 patent. Patents expire after 20 years, at which point the innovation they describe is available to anyone to use.

There may be other patents covering other aspects of the Print Gocco system, of course. But I'm just saying, I think there's very little reason why any craft company couldn't pick up Gocco's technology and run with it to serve both the Gocco community and new market segments.

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