The technologies we use:
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.