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The Science Behind 3D Crystal Engraving: How It Works

When buying gifts for loved ones, we put a lot of effort into finding something unique and personalized. Gifting engraved jewelry with the person’s initials or certain secret messages is a timeless and very popular trend. The game of gifting personalized engraved items only grew more popular with the development of 3D crystal engraving.

When we mention the words laser and crystal together, our mind wonders what will come from this. Lasers are used for cutting, engraving, and etching many materials to create personalized and unique items. 

So, how can a crystal have a 3D engraving and will the product look good? We'll find out soon enough.

What is 3D Crystal Engraving?

3D crystal engraving is a process of creating three-dimensional art inside a crystal block. Using laser technology, the laser beam focuses on different parts inside the crystal to create that three-dimensional effect.

Engraving was used way back when men used stone to create marks on another stone. There is also wood carving which is another form of engraving. Fast forward to the future and the appearance of major technological inventions, we were introduced to 3D crystal engraving. This technology used today to create art was once intended for industrial purposes.

How Does 3D Crystal Engraving Work

The 3D engraving process involves a couple of steps that eventually lead to a beautiful design.

  1. First, to engrave an image of a certain subject, it needs to be captured from multiple angles. A professional camera or scanner usually does this.
  2. Next, it converts the image into a format the engraving machine can understand. This is done with 3D modeling software.
  3. The crystal is placed in the laser machine, where the laser beam is directed at different angles to create small points under the surface of the crystal. Each point of the image is plotted in the crystal.
  4. The high-powered beam is concentrated on the three-dimensional coordinates, which is how that 3D effect is achieved.
  5. Inside the crystal, small fractures are created when the beam reaches the focal point. When the laser is done with one plotted coordinate, it moves on to the next, repeating the same process.
  6. Once the engraving is complete, the crystal is then polished and cleaned. Because the laser being used has non-invasive beams, no marks are left on the crystal from the engraving.

3D crystal engraving is a longer process than 2D engraving, but the results that are achieved are stunning and worth every minute. In the end, the engraved image looks like it's floating inside the crystal. 

3D engraving is not only used for images, but also for engraving messages, quotes, logos, etc. The engraving is also done on different crystal shapes and sizes.

The Difference Between 2D And 3D Crystal Engravings

The main difference between 2D and 3D is the depth at which the engraving is done. A 2D laser engraving is done on a flat surface that leaves a permanently marked two-dimensional image behind. Unlike 2D engraving, 3D engravings have a higher level of dimensionality.

3D crystal engravings have an overall better quality since the engraving uses a non-invasive laser that creates the image inside the crystal. In 2D engravings, the image is on the surface of the crystal, leaving it exposed to the outside environment and prone to damage.

3D crystal engravings can also be done on any surface, whereas 2D engraving on a non-flat surface is a little trickier and sometimes impossible. And finally, the technology used in 3D engravings is more accurate than the one used for 2D, giving you an overall better-finished piece.

How to Choose an Image For 3D Crystal Engraving

A question that confuses many is how to choose the right image to get the best results. Follow these tips to receive the best 3D crystal engraving.

  • When choosing a picture, look for an image where the head of the subject is larger. That way, the facial features can be more defined.
  • Make sure the image fills up the shape of the crystal. You want to avoid engraving a small image in a large crystal because the subject's focus might get lost.
  • Do not use low-quality or blurry pictures. Choose the original picture which has the best quality properties. Ensure the photo is taken in a good light and avoid pictures with lots of shadows in them.

3D Crystal Engraving Final Words

Even with the right equipment and experience, 3D crystal engraving can still be very complicated, especially if the design at hand is tricky. This is why it's best to leave it to the professionals.

3D engraved crystals make an excellent gift for holidays, birthdays, and celebrations because you can personalize and adapt them for the right occasion. If you have decided to do a 3D crystal engraving, choose the image with the best quality for high results.
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