Equipment for Granite Photo Engraving

Written by paul young
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Equipment for Granite Photo Engraving
Modern technology allows for photo engraving on granite headstones. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Granite photo engraving involves etching a photograph on to a piece of granite. Photographs etched on to granite can be used for personalised gift ideas, plaques or trophies and even be used to personalise a grave marker. There is a variety of equipment used in the granite photo engraving process.

Different Methods and Equipment

The equipment and methods for performing granite photo engraving can vary from company to company. Some engraving companies use laser engraving, while others use a router, sandblaster or diamond-tipped impact engraving equipment. Laser photo granite engraving is one of the more modern methods of photo granite engraving, while diamond-tipped engravers have been used for years and provide more of an artistic quality.

Laser Photo Engraver

Laser granite photo engraving, also known as laser etching, is accomplished with a laser etching machine that works much like a printer, only it prints on stone instead of paper. Much of the laser granite photo engraving process is done by a graphic artist on a computer as the artist readies the photo to be engraved onto the granite. The laser etching machine accesses the photograph to be engraved through a computer and etches the photograph onto the granite using a laser.

Stencil Sandblasting

Performing granite photo engraving involves using a sandblasting rig consisting of a tank through which abrasive particles are propelled by air through a hose with a nozzle assembly. Other than the sandblasting rig, other equipment for this type of granite photo engraving includes a hood worn by the one operating the sandblaster to protect their face and eyes and stencils that are laid on the granite for the engraving. This type of granite photo graving does not provide as much detail as laser engraving but gives a rough, textured look.

Impact Etching with a Diamond Tip

This type of granite photo engraving method uses a machine with a diamond-tipped head connected to a computer with special software. The impact-etching machine is placed over the top of a piece of granite and creates a photo engraving by driving a diamond needle into the stone. The machine engraves an image based upon a photographic image loaded from a computer to the machine. An impact-etching machine reproduces a close replica of the original image with the quality of an artist's engraving.

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