Engraving is one of the oldest and most commonly used methods of printmaking. It is the process of incising a design onto a surface to create a visual and textural effect.
The practice can be done on a variety of materials such as silver, gold, steel, stones, plastic, glass, and metals.
There are different types of engraving techniques including:
- Hand Engraving
A traditional and laborious method, hand-engraving combines the skills of an artisan with the precision of an engraving tool. The engraver follows a pattern and guides the machine by hand, controlling the depth of the grooves by eye.
Since hand engravings have a high level of microscopic detail, counterfeiting the designs is well-nigh impossible. Additionally, the details are so fine that a normal printer cannot recreate the engravings, nor can they be scanned. This technique is used to engrave stamp markings, dies, banknotes, plates for printing money, bonds, and other security-sensitive papers.
- Rotary Engraving
Rotary engraving uses a piece of equipment controlled by a machine to make the engravings. The design is pre-programmed into a computer, making the details as precise as possible. This marking method is very popular as it’s capable of making deep cuts into any material and it creates beautiful grooves that you can feel with your fingertips.
This technique can be used to engrave all kinds of metals including stainless steel, brass, copper, sterling silver, gold, and pewter. Items such as trophies, knives, jewellery, plates, picture frames, and card cases are often engraved with the rotary process.
- Laser Engraving
This a “non-contact” marking method – a highly concentrated laser beam is fired at the surface to create a mark. The laser beam can be strengthened to carve more deeply and its thickness can be adjusted to increase or decrease the width of the engraving.
Since laser engraving is a “non-contact” technique, it is suitable for a variety of delicate materials and products such as glass and tablet computers. It’s also an excellent method for engraving control panels, photographs, graphics, signs and promotional merchandise.
- Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Engraving
The designs in CNC engraving are manipulated by machines that respond to a pre-programmed computer. This creates a high-level of microscopic details that cannot be achieved by other marking methods.
A common application of this technique is engraving serial numbers on metal car parts for security tracking. Materials such as glass are also engraved with the CNC engraving technique.
If you’re looking to engrave plastic, wood, metals or alloys, Able Engraving & Design Ltd can help. With more than three decades of experience, experienced staff, and state of the art technology, we provide every kind of engraving services you need under one roof. What’s more, we offer exceptional quality and delivery nationwide.