Subsurface Laser Engraving, the Ultimate Glass Decoration Technique


Precept and Historical past

These days, all people has seen these glass merchandise with a 3D picture inside. Persons are at all times amazed about the appears to be like of the fashions inside whether or not it’s a automotive, a sailboat or only a firm emblem.

The truth is the picture created on this manner appears to be like like a sculpture inside a glass block. That is in all probability the cause, why this glass ornament method is so extremely popular. It’s the first method which makes it doable to create a ‘sculpture’ with the assist of a pc (CAD). The primary time that the 3D fashions from inside the laptop could be reworked in one thing actual exterior the laptop!

Subsurface laser engraving or 3D crystal laser engraving, is a mode of glass ornament the place glass markings (tiny dots) are made inside a glass object with out disturbing the floor of the glass object.

How these subsurface laser engraving machines do their job is in actual fact not so obscure.

All people has, largely in his or her youth, put a shoe string or a bit of paper on hearth with the assist of a magnifying glass. The sunbeam is targeted or bundled by the magnifying glass. In the point of interest the bundled vitality of the sunbeam is so excessive that the materials and the oxygen in the air react and so the materials begins burning. The situation on this case is that the materials should have the ability to burn in air, like paper, wooden, dry grass, shoe string, and many others.

As an alternative of solar mild it is usually doable to focus a laser beam with a lens. If the wavelength of the laser mild is well-chosen, the bundled vitality in the point of interest of the lens can work together with glass. For glass, that wavelength is 1064nm or 532nm. Mild and likewise laser mild journey by way of glass usually with none interplay. Is the vitality of the mild excessive sufficient and has the laser mild the proper wavelength, then one thing occurs to the glass. Whereas glass is generally clear, at that point of interest that particular laser mild makes it regionally non-transparent. This space in the glass is then seen as a tiny white dot.

By shifting the point of interest and laser to totally different places and creating dots at these places, a 3D mannequin could be constructed.

The truth is, the subsurface laser machine makes the mannequin in slices. First the machine makes the dots in a single aircraft at the backside of the glass dice. Then it strikes up somewhat greater and makes the dots in the subsequent aircraft, by doing so, on and on, it creates a 3D mannequin.

So the enjoyable a part of this method is that the laser mild solely could make dots at the point of interest and the remainder of the glass object by way of which it travels stays untouched.

Initially the method was invented in Russia as a spin-off of the laser program throughout the Chilly Conflict. At first the dots have been comparatively huge and the fashions have been solely composed of 50 to 200 factors. However since they have been the first ever proven at reward ware festivals, all people was really amazed.

After the Fraunhofer Institute in Aachen, Germany, the powerhouse for worldwide laser developments, invented in 1997 a brand new kind of laser the method turned actually widespread. This new laser made very tiny dots and the writing pace was incomparable with the Russian know-how. This resulted in fashions, with say 50,000 dots, which took solely 20 seconds to be engraved in a glass block.

The reward ware world had a brand new instrument to make fantastic glass merchandise.

3D Crystal or Glass?

The time period 3D crystal laser engraving is extensively used as an alternative of subsurface laser engraving.

Though subsurface laser engraving describes precisely what occurs, it sounds commercially extra fascinating to name it 3D crystal laser engraving. The phrase ‘crystal’ appeals extra beneficial to folks than glass and that’s in all probability the cause for this considerably complicated title.

Though it’s doable to do subsurface laser engraving in crystal and lots of different clear supplies, the materials normally used for this method is Optical Glass.

Optical glass is a kind of glass which is made in a really exact manner. Any artefacts in the glass would affect the optical high quality. For the 3D laser engraving course of it is rather vital that the high quality of the used optical glass is uniform all through the entire block to keep away from errors.

So the subsequent time that you just see someplace written “3D crystal” you realize it’s really not crystal however (optical) glass.


Essentially the most well-known software is for making company presents. A glass block or some other type with an inner design of an organization emblem and textual content is a long-lasting reward which will certainly get a spot at the desk of the receiver.

The know-how has developed and objects will not be restricted anymore to a couple centimeters by just a few centimeters. Huge blocks of 15cm by 15cm can fully be stuffed up with designs and texts. So it is usually a great materials for glass trophies that are normally bulkier then the smaller blocks that are seen all over the place in the retailers.

The overall reward ware market is the second marketplace for these merchandise. Photos of landmarks, like the Eiffel tower or the Taj Mahal, are widespread memento gadgets and create a lifelong remembrance of that particular vacation.

Personalised presents is one other growing marketplace for the 3D crystal presents. With new digital camera strategies and likewise simply by software program, a 3D picture of the face/head is made in the wink of a watch. With some extra textual content it turns into a stupendous anniversary reward, a birthday reward or only a lovely dwelling ornament.

The strategy of 3D crystal laser engraving is steady evolving and the speeds are ever-increasing. This opened the manner for different, bigger functions. In places of work, glass dividers with an inner laser engraved design discover their manner. Glass furnishings, like desk tops, could be embellished with this method.

An increasing number of widespread are indicators for business functions. Particularly the mixture of those indicators and LED-light know-how are very highly effective, as a result of the engraving lights up and the different elements of the glass keep unlit.

Subsurface laser engraving has change into in 15 years, from scratch, a robust glass ornament method which has discovered its place in the market and new technical enhancements hand in hand with new developments for CAD will make it certain that we are going to see rather more of this method in the close to future.

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