It was used as early as the 17th century in etching alterations. It developed as an independent graphic technique only in the mid-19th century. Intaglio printmaking technique (cut). Drawing is made with the use of a steel needle directly on a smooth, polished surface of metal plate (copper, zinc or aluminum) without etching process. The needle incises lines in metal, whereas the cut metal creates a kind of chips on both edges. During copying, chips hold paint next to the incised lines, which gives an effect of soft tones with velvet-like black. Copper plates can produce about thirty prints, whereas zinc plates – around ten.