Raster Laser Engraving

If you’ve ever watched a printer in action, raster engraving is not unlike this. The best way to describe raster engraving is to think of it as if you’re drawing something. You’d start with the outline which would be the vector engraving and then when you infill or colour in the part this would be the raster engraving.

The laser moves forward and backward over the work, from top to bottom, marking the parts that the drawing tells it to. We like raster engraving to be shown by black infill of the shapes to be raster engraved. Raster engraving is very controllable, we can do just what you want, but it can also be rather slow (and therefore expensive). So sometimes a vector engraving can be more appropriate.

See more about Raster Engraving here.

Vector Laser Engraving

A vector is a line. Vector engraving is like laser cutting however we finely set the lasers not to cut all the way through, but to score the surface where we tell it to. We like vector engraving lines to be shown as blue strokes.

We cannot directly control the line thickness, other than adjusting focus and using multiple lines, so vector is not as controllable as raster, but it is quick, and can be very effective.

See more about Vector Engraving here.

3D Laser Engraving

Is a type of raster engraving, but can only be done on a specialist engraving laser (we have 3), using a suitable greyscale image.

When doing 3D engraving we use a special setting on the lasers which allows the laser to adjust the power it applies to the material based on the light and dark quality of the drawing.

The Black areas of the image receive  the maximum power, but the white areas do not get engraved at all. The in between shades get different amounts of power to give it a real 3D appearance.

The laser will then add sloped edges to the engraving to make it look like a 3D image.

See more about 3D Engraving here.

Photo Laser Engraving

Is not unlike 3D engraving, as we’ve already talked about,  but it uses a photo instead of a greyscale image.

You may have seen videos on youtube about photo engraving, and although those videos and our machines are both laser engraving machines, the process used often takes longer to achieve.

Just like raster engraving, the laser reads the tones of the image like your home printer would. The black parts receive the most power, and the white parts receive none. You can get some really good results, but ideally you’d need to provide an image of at least 300 DPI if not higher quality.

See more about Photo Engraving here.

Metal Marking

Metal marking is a great way to engrave metals. Unlike fibre lasers, co2 lasers cannot penetrate the metal to create any sort of depth so we use a compound spray to mark the surface of the metal. We use the same raster engraving process as before, but with a little help from a compound spray the engraving appears as black marks.

This process can be used on most metals and other materials. If it’s not something we’ve tried before, we can certainly do a test with compound spray and see how it works.

See more about Metal Marking here.