Photo Engraving Processes You Can Use Today
There are various photo engraving methods you can use for your projects. However, of the many processes available, two are the most common for photo engraving images on your products and equipment without a drop in quality. Below is an introduction to both methods.
Chemical Etching Process
Chemical etching is a photo engraving method applicable to materials such as glass, plastics, etc. It involves using a chemical etchant (liquid or vapor) for etching images on the required materials isotropically or through anisotropic etching.
There are four steps involved in photo engraving via chemical etching.
After selecting a material for photo etching, it is crucial to clean it thoroughly. Cleaning allows for good surface conditions for etching.
Ensure a proper lamination of the materials before photo engraving. There are many lamination options for photo etching, including dry, wet-dip, and roller lamination. The metal and photosensitive layers must not come into contact during lamination. Therefore, you must maintain a clean environment.
Squeeze the metal sheet between the photo tools and then expose it to ultraviolet light. This hardens certain areas of the laminate and makes them acid-resistant. Also, it develops the sheet, and any unexposed undergoes proper cleaning through washing.
Then finally, spray the acid solution on the sheet. It dissolves the exposed part of the metal and reveals the equipment design. The acid solution etches only the metal exposed on the front photo-tool.
If both the rear and front photo-tools have etched areas, the acid solution removes the metal leaving smooth edges and no material damage. It is necessary to remove the remaining resist to reveal the final item.
Laser Engraving Process
Laser engraving is a method that uses concentrated laser beams to create images on the surface of various objects and products. It is a precise technique guided by a laser engraving machine in place of human hands.
Laser Engraving Procedure
To use laser engraving for photo engraving, follow the steps below:
Select a photo to use on your material and send it to the laser machine
- Step 2: Material Selection
On the laser machine, select the material type you want to engrave using laser parameters from the database of the material
After that, select the optimization method for your photo on the laser machine. For some laser engraving machines, photos optimize automatically.
- Step 4: Resolution Settings
For photo engraving, it is best to select a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
Various algorithms are available to bring your effects to life according to your design specifications. You can try your hands on the different effects to check and choose the right one.
For engraving images of people, “Ordered Dithering” is the best effect. Lastly, after every set is in check, you can start the engraving method.