The technologies we use:

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving uses heat from high intensity light to "burn" the surface of the item being engraved. Lasers work great for many plastics and most wood. They can mark deep into the surface based on the amount of power used and the speed of engraving.

They do not work as well on metal unless the surface has a coating that can be burnt away to expose the metal underneath. Some materials can be marked using chemical agents that can be heated with the laser to bond color to the metal.

Glass and crystal can also be lasered to produce a frosted effect similar to sand blasting.

Mechanical Engraving

The oldest of the engraving technologies, mechanical engravers use rotating cutters to "scratch" or "etch" the surface of the material. They work on wood, glass, plastics and most metals. The harder the surface the more difficult it is to get a deep enough cut. Some cutters have diamond tips to assist in marking the surfaces. Stainless steel is a material that is very hard to engrave with the mechanical method. Some metals, such as brass, look better when an acid wash is used to darken the scratched area.

Sublimation

Sublimation uses high heat to bond special inks to specially prepared surfaces. High quality images can be put on metal, cloth, ceramics and plastics. Many items are available in full color because of this method.

Sand Blasting

This technique uses abrasive compounds shot under high pressure to mark surfaces. Useful for metals, glass, wood, concrete (pavers), stone and other hard materials. Special masking materials are cut in the pattern you want to end up having on the surface. Various abrasives such as sand, glass beads and aluminum oxide are used depending on the material to be marked and the depth of marking desired. Ususally a color fill is applied to create a contrast between the surface and the engraving so that visibility is higher.

Routing

This technique uses high speed bits to cut the desired markings into the surface. While many home handymen have a hand router, we use a table mounted router with higher horsepower and speed. Our router is also computer controlled to allow precision engraving as well as cutting.

Etching

This method uses acid compounds that disolve the exposed areas of the item to be marked. Primarily used on thin glass that can not stand up to the pressures of mechanical engraving and sand blasting or the heat of lasers.