How to engrave pictures
in plastic

piet3k
( This is a good friend of my )

It’s a very easy technique and nice to do.

The principle is that , when you hold the plastic against a light you will see nothing ( that’s black ). When you make the plastic plate very thin and you look again, you can see the light through the plastic. ( That’s white )

Let’s start.

I use ( in dutch perspex ) a kind of plastic what is not so soft with a thickness of 3mm.
When you hold it to the light and you move your finger , you must can see the finger thrue the plastic. ( not sharp, but a little bit difference in color )

The program i used was Type3 version 4.2 ( you can find it with a peer to peer program. I don’t know the name of that program )

We use a passport photo format picture
When you make the picture, please use a flash because you don’t have shadows.

 We open the picture in Adobe Photoshop.

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Do Auto Contrast.

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Go to Dust & Scratches

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When you have a picture with a lot op pixels you can do radius 2
else 1.

For type3 i must make the picture negative.

Save the picture  ( in type3 a bitmap .bmp )

Open Type3

Import the picture

Resize it to the size you want to engrave. ( My picture is 30mm X 38mm and has an engraving time of 1 hour at 300mm/min speed )

Move it to the right position.

Select the picture ( on the edge of the picture )
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Click on the green button with Art on it

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Set the difference between black and white. This value depends of the transparency of the plastic. Do not higher than 2.5mm because your material is 3mm.

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Now it’s converted to depth.

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push this button ( i don’t know a description for it ).

Select the picture ( on the edge of the picture )

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select TypeArt

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Use a Conical tool with a tip diameter of 0.2mm with a top angle of 30 grade. ( you can use what you have , but not to big )
Stepover is the half of the tool tip.

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Goto your type art and then right mouse button and save the file.

Tip
* When you get engraving you must place the file so that the lowest point is about 0.5mm til 0.3mm from the back side of your material.

* Use oil when you engrave.

* I engrave this with a turning speed 5000 rotations/min
The reason is that the plastic can not melt on my cutter.

When everything goes good then you have engraved something like this.

ricardo2k

When you hold it to a lamp you will see this.

ricardo3k
This is my oldest son Ricardo.

This example ( above ) has a depth of 2.5mm.
It is to deep, but the contrast is better.

vince2k

vince3k

This example ( above ) has a depth of 1.5mm.
It is to shallow, but the contrast is bad.
The picture is easier to see by daylight.

piet2k

piet3k

This example has a depth of 1.9mm and it good to see.

good luck.

When you like it, you can send me your pictures ( creations ) and i shall place it on my site