Having items personalised through engraving is a common way of celebrating a success or personal achievement. It can also be used to have products dated, apply serial numbers or just to label personal items with your name and details. If you are looking to avail of quality craftsmanship for a variety of purposes, engraving companies specialise in providing engraving services for corporate events, sporting trophies and giftware. But there are different methods in which engraving can be performed, namely: rotary engraving, laser engraving and sublimation. But what are they and how do they differ? To help understand this further let’s look at each method.
Up until the end of the 70’s the only engraving machines in use were manual but the first major development leap in modern times was the introduction of computerised rotary engraving machines. A cutter would still physically extract lines from a material but this could be achieved much more quickly by just typing the required text or importing an image into a computer and then leaving the machine to trace it out. This reduction in labour and time saw computerised rotary engraving machinery displace the previous methods involving pantographs and revolutionise the engraving market. In recent years, their operation has been made much more user-friendly and through the use of specifically designed accessories their applications have increased considerably. Overall, rotary engraving is best suited to use with metals as it can be used on a wide range of metals whether they are coated or not. Laser engraving works well on coated metals but when using bare metals, chemicals are required to stain the trace lines and this produces a different effect. It is most common to see trophy engraving utilise rotary methods as it provides the traditional look and feel you usually see on sporting awards such as football and cricket trophies.
Another method of engraving is through the use of lasers. With this approach there is no physical contact made with the surface of the material which is being engraved. Due to this, consumable materials such as bit heads are unnecessary. A laser beam will trace out the required pattern and this is normally controlled by a computer. The exact point at which the laser affects the chosen material and creates an engraving line can be miniscule, even as small as fractions of millimetres and this allows it to be incredibly precise and intricate. Laser engraving can be used on a wide range of materials and as such is very versatile. This method is great for allowing people to have unusual and unexpected items personalised with whatever designs they require.
Sublimation is quite different to other forms of engraving as it does not actually remove or burn away parts of a material to create lines. Instead it is more akin to printing. Through high temperatures and pressures, designs can be printed onto items and this can be done in various colours. This gives the method added popularity with people who require multiple colour variations of logos and text. It tends to look better than other methods of engraving on lighter colours such as white and as it is a form of printing, rather than extraction, you can select complicated and uncommon fonts and images that other methods might struggle to achieve.
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