How to do 3-D Laser Engraving

Written by elizabeth hannigan
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How to do 3-D Laser Engraving
Lasers make engraving easier. (fond zulux laser image by Strikker from

Lasers make all sorts of things such as glass, metal and crystal easy to engrave. Invented by the Russians in 1990, a laser-engraving machine allows you to engrave the centre of glass or crystal blocks with a process known as subsurface laser engraving. The machines can cost more than £162,500. If you want a subsurface 3-D laser engraving of your own, you can visit a photo crystal shop and have one made.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Visit a local photo crystal shop where you can find a 3-D camera and a subsurface laser engraving machine.

  2. 2

    Sit for a portrait. You need to take your photograph with a special 3-D camera. It takes less than one second and is essentially the same as having a normal photograph taken.

  3. 3

    Process and clean the image from the camera, which is called your 3-D acquisition. This only takes a few minutes.

  4. 4

    Convert your 3-D acquisition into a point cloud.

  5. 5

    Upload the point cloud into the laser engraving machine.

  6. 6

    Confirm that you like the image. If you aren't happy with the picture, you can easily take another. You can also alter the brightness or contrast of the image before the engraving begins.

  7. 7

    Place the crystal or glass block into the laser engraving machine. This machine resembles a small safe and you can't see what is happening inside as it works. Inside, however, a laser beam penetrates the glass or crystal and creates thousands of tiny cracks called points. When the machine is finished, these points will replicate the point cloud image you approved on screen.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also have images of pets or objects 3-D laser engraved.

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