Awards & Engraving

2018 Laser Engraving Report

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LER 2018 n 13 Image 2 (above): Though not required, some users opt to mask their glass with a thin, wet sheet of newspaper or a thin layer of dish soap (pictured here) prior to engraving, which can help with heat dissipation over the area being engraved. Image 3 (at left): The glasses being engraved. things you can do to achieve the results you're looking for before you even send your job to the laser. The first step in creating a great glass engraving starts with your design. The laser engraves black graphics and text with more power than lighter text and graphics. For this reason, we recommend converting artwork to 80% black as opposed to 100% black. This helps ensure the glass doesn't crack or break while being engraved and also helps produce a uniform finish over the entire engraving. You can change the color intensity using the color palette in CorelDRAW. Simply select your artwork and then select "80% Black" from the pallet. (See image 1.) The second thing you'll want to account for prior to the engraving is your resolution settings. Resolution — also called DPI or dots per inch — is determined by the number of lines or dots that are engraved for every inch the laser moves. The higher the resolution, the closer together each dot is engraved. When engraving highly detailed images on wood or other substrates, a higher DPI is recommended; however, for glass it is not necessary. Engraving at a lower DPI (we recommend 300) on glass helps spread out the dots, which actually helps create a smoother finish on the final engraving. Another thing to consider prior to engraving is using a specialty dithering pattern. Dithering defines how the dot patterns will be engraved in raster images that contain grayscales, blends, or color. For example, Epilog's Laser Dashboard offers six different dithering patterns. We recommend the "Jarvis" or "Stucki" dithering pattern for engraving glass. This pattern randomizes the dots within the graphic or text, which helps produce a smoother finish. SEND IT TO THE LASER Once you've created the perfect artwork for your glass engraving project, it's time to send the job to the laser. For this project, we used Epilog's rotary attachment option to engrave stemless wine glasses for the holi- days. Don't have a rotary? Not to worry — we'll feature additional options below. To insert the rotary, lower your engraving table, remove the vector or engraving table, and power off your machine. Plug in your rotary attachment and then restart the laser.

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