Aluminum is used for many things: manufacturing, packaging, even preserving foods in the form of aluminum foil. And while it’s been used as an art medium in a number of ways — including 3D printing — printing images on aluminum is a relatively recent development. A company called Aluminyze has sought to make this more commercially accessible, and the results are impressive. From GeekDad:

When Aluminyze offered to send some samples of their aluminum prints, I was a bit skeptical. Too many times, print samples are too small to get a feel for the quality, and only use heavy HDR or over-contrast to blast the senses and cover up any deficiencies in the process or materials. It was refreshing, then, when they told me to pick two sample photos myself and they’d send me both large and small prints of them.

For both prints, hanging was a breeze with the attached float mount that brings the print away from the wall. Aluminyze infuses the photo into the aluminum and then applies a UV resistant coating, providing a waterproof, fade and scratch resistant piece of art that, unlike paper that can get damp, wrinkle, tear, and fade, can be cleaned with regular glass cleaner and safely hung in direct sunlight. At $35 for an 8″x10″, on up to over $600 for a gigantic 40″x60″, aluminum prints are comparable to both framed prints and gallery wrap canvas, yet last longer. Aluminyze also offers a variety of sizes, shapes, and mounts for your photos on their website.

Click on through to see detailed reviews of Aluminyze’s qualities. But the short answer is that the company is delivering high-quality prints on a unique surface that’s protected from the usual wear and tear you’ll see with paper.