Comparing
2D & 3D Crystal Engraving

CRYSTAL ENGRAVING – how is it done?

A sub-surface laser engraving system is used to permanently etch designs and images inside clear optical crystal trophies, awards & gifts.

“How do you get the image inside the crystal” is the question we hear more than any other. While it may appear to be all smoke and mirrors, the concepts behind sub-surface engraving are not dissimilar to the common childhood game of burning holes in paper using a magnifying glass lens. In the game, the lens is used to focus the light from the sun into a single spot. The concentrated energy at this “hot spot” is so high that the paper starts burning.

For sub-surface engraving a lens is used to focus a laser beam to a point below the crystal surface. At this focus point the energy is high enough to create a tiny fracture in the crystal. The energy of the out-of-focus light is not high enough to have an effect, so the surface of the crystal is not disturbed.

We use state-of-the-art German laser systems to ensure the highest quality engraving. The precision control of the laser system is carefully calibrated to ensure the fractures occur at exactly the correct location. The engraved image is formed by producing hundreds of thousands of fractures. The engraved points appear white in normal ambient lighting conditions.

Crystal engraving -
2D photo crystals

Any 2D image, such as a jpg, tiff or png image, can be internally engraved in crystal. The resulting 2D image will have a thickness of approximately 3mm. The view of the engraving from the front will be a greyscale replica of the original image, while the side view will be a straight line (akin to the view of a photo from the side).

Crystal engraving -
3D photo crystals

A 2D portrait photograph of a person or animal can be converted into 3D by wrapping the textures of the photograph around a 3D shape. This will produce a 180° view of the portrait image.

Crystal engraving -
3D Logos, 3D text and 3D models

Our experienced team of specialist designers can create 3D models of just about anything using dedicated 3D software. Using reference images supplied by the customer, they construct detailed digital 3D designs that can be viewed from all angles. Complex machinery, vehicles, architecture, anatomical and industrial designs look fantastic when engraved inside crystal. Even simple graphics, such as logos and text, can be given depth to convert them into 3D. 

What's the difference between 2D & 3D Photo Crystals?