Awards & Engraving

June '18

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18 • A&E JUNE 2018 YOUR LASER AT WORK By Jim Puentes Relief carving is basically creating three- dimensional carvings. The carved results have length, width, and depth. The ter- minology for such work, however, can be confused across different disciplines. I've been in discussions that it is not three- dimensional, but two-dimensional or even two-and-a-half dimensional. I blame it on semantics and trying to label processes across similar disciplines. Old schoolers, like me, may remember being taught about bas-relief carving in history class. Bas-relief is defined as "a kind of carving or sculpture in which the figures are raised a few inches from a flat background to give a three-dimen- sional effect. The term is French for 'low relief.'" (The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company). It's an ancient art form uniquely suited to today's modern laser technology. For the sake of simplicity, I refer to the process as relief carving. Proper relief carving with a laser does not rely on burn marks to imply shape and dimensions; it vaporizes material, leaving shapes behind. Lighting creates the shadows that show the depth of cut and shape. The finished product is three-dimensional from a fairly wide frontal view. CNC COMPARISON Much like some computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling machines, some lasers can effectively carve spectacular D etail makes work stand out, and one of the most impressive ways to add detail is to carve it with the laser. This article covers the basics and includes a step-by-step exercise to create a simple carving. Relief Carving with the Laser Jim Puentes opened COOLaser- Craft in 2008, providing his cli- ents with marking, cutting and fabrication services. Contact Jim at Part 1: The basics Relief carving is basically creating three-dimensional carvings — the carved results have length, width, and depth. ALL IMAGES COURTESY JIM PUENTES

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