Human nature is to remember the good times and great people in our lives, and photography has always been the medium of choice for capturing family and friends in a variety of settings. Our closets are filled with memories of our childhood, school days, weddings and many other important events in our lives.
Customers often ask us why they should buy a new laser engraver. The answer is simple. Modern laser engravers are profitable because they are very flexible and can work with a wide variety of materials. Creating unique products for your customers is the key to success. Laser engraving beloved photos on souvenirs can be very valuable to your customers.
The same computer technology enables us to scan color or black-and-white photographs or take digital photographs, and then laser engrave those images onto various materials such as marble, wood, leather, coated metal, acrylic, and more. The process of laser engraving photos is easier than many people realize, and can open up many new business opportunities that you may not have thought of.
Laser engraving has many advantages as a way of manipulating photos:
Preservation: The lifespan of a photo decreases exponentially with the difficulty of taking it. Now, with a camera in our pocket, we can save everything we shoot — that is, until our phone crashes, or we forget our passwords multiple times and get locked out of cloud accounts for years. Even photo printing is not as difficult as previous generations of photos, so laser engraving photos offers a very reliable alternative to preserve your precious moments. Also, you don't even have to worry about frames.
Detail and variety: Thanks to the accuracy of laser engraving, you can produce works of art that retain the level of detail in the original photo. With this clarity, expanding your product portfolio is as easy as buying a laser engraver. Duplicating the same photo onto a different material will produce different results. You can adjust it according to your artistic mood. Laser engraving photos really allows you to experiment with photography in a way that Photoshop can't.
Gifting: Aside from maintaining the integrity and longevity of your photos, laser engraving looks cool. In addition, it can make decorative or functional items such as ornaments, paperweights, book heads, plaques, etc., giving you unlimited options to make your fond memories more vivid and fulfilling.
Available Materials for Laser Engraving Photos
There are many options when it comes to choosing the best material for your engraving project. You can choose from the materials below to engrave your photos to make a personalized gift. You can choose accordingly based on the content of the photo you use.
Any kind of light wood with the smallest streaks will produce a high-quality engraving. You can choose from alder, fir, Baltic birch, plywood, cork, and Douglas for your photo-engraving projects. The amount of resin in the wood will determine whether your photo will darken or lighten after engraving. You can choose from a variety of low resin woods including walnut, applewood, ash, oak and locust. If you're looking for a deeper burn, high resin woods like alder and cherry will give you the results you want.
The suitability of a particular type of plastic depends on its composition. Finishing processes and additives can alter its absorption spectral properties. Therefore, some combinations will melt rather than sculpt. In general, cast resins and acrylics are the best types of plastic for engraving intricate patterns, such as photographs.
Metals and Coated Metals
Both metals and coated metals require high-density lasers for engraving. They are naturally heat-resistant, which means they are very good at keeping the laser energy consistent. They just need a bit more oomph to accept engraving.
Glass and Stone
While both materials are difficult to work with, you can achieve amazing results. This is because every time the laser beam hits the stone or glass, the laser destroys the surface, crystal structure and natural particles. Additionally, glass and stone can add a natural layer of color to your laser engraved photos, adding to their beauty.
When it comes to laser engraving photos, you need a laser machine specially designed for the job. Your laser scanners and 3D printers simply cannot engrave it. Most people don't want to try laser engravers because they mistakenly think they are too expensive. But there are also some small laser engravers that don't cost a lot of money. Atomstack offers affordable and powerful laser engravers. Our desktop laser engraver is only around $500.
a high quality photo
Not every photo is suitable for laser engraving. If your goal is to grab attention, choose your photos carefully. The rule of thumb is to choose a photo that is sufficiently detailed, focused, doesn't contain too much color, and shows a lot of color transitions from light to dark. Essentially, sharp photos are easily knocked out of the background and provide plenty of interest and detail. For best results, photos should be at least 300 dpi.
photo editing software
There is no right or wrong here. Just use the software you feel comfortable with. If you don't know what to do, download a trial version of the software to make sure you're happy with it before purchasing a license. Common photo editing software includes Photoshop, gimp, inpixio, and Pixlr, which offer good processing power when you want to clean up or remove backgrounds.
How to laser engrave photos?
In addition to industrial applications, Atomstack offers professional and affordable laser engravers for avid DIYers and up-and-coming small businesses. With professional software, content and support, you don't have to spend months learning to use a laser engraver. In short, these resources will guide you to sculpt photos easily and accurately. Once you have the right machine, you can start your first engraving photo by following these instructions:
1. Select and adjust your photo
Use editing software to select the photo you want to engrave and adjust. When editing, the most important thing is to first convert your photo to an indexed color scheme and then to grayscale. You may also want to remove the background color of the photo as this will help get a crisp and clean look. Other editing options include changing the intensity of blacks, converting some light-colored photos to darker ones, and sharpening eyes, lips, eyebrows, hair, and eyelashes. If you know nothing about photo editing, you can hire a freelancer to edit your photos for you.
2. Convert the image to a bitmap file
Convert the picture to a bitmap file with your editing software. This quick conversion converts your photos into raster graphics and image files that can be read by your laser engraving software or engraved by your laser machine.
3. Laser engrave your photo
After selecting your photos, send them to your laser machine using whatever laser engraver software you like. Due to its accuracy, the laser engraver can retain the same level of detail as the first design. Copying memorable photos of your friends, siblings, parents, grandparents or someone special is a great way to share your creations with more loved ones.
Acrylic material laser engraving