Vector for engraving

Vector for Engraving

A lot of our vector drawings are for engravers who tell us they will use the vector file for relief engraving, laser engraving, sandblasting, etching, or cutting. I am guessing these are some of the few process left that require vector art. Although I have never actually used an engraving machine or tool, I have been preparing vector graphics since 2000 for many different purposes including engraving and sign cutting.

My understanding is that, for engraving, the vector image must be line art or a single-color image(not black and white but rather black and transparent areas) that should never include very small pieces nor objects that are too close to each other. No overlapping vector paths. No placed bitmap / raster images. No raster effects (such as gradients and drop shadows). And all objects connected: No open-ended lines. Here are more samples of photo to vector line art (not necessarily for engraving).

Below are a couple of recent engraving projects from beginning to end product, including errors and corrections that needed to be done before the vector drawing was appropriate for the particular process.

Reproduce a vector image from a photo of an engraved stone.

Original engraving on a stone

This is a photo of the original engraving on a stone. The image engraved is what we need to reproduce in vector format for a new engraving.

Vector line art for engraving

This was the first vector drawing created before I had a clear understanding of what needed to be done! I'm a little bit of an air-head.

Vector drawing modified for relief engraving

Once I understood the process the vector graphic was to be used for, I was able to redraw the vector image correctly. In this particular case with .25 inch space between all objects

Vector outline wireframe with centerline vector path

Whether the vector objects are filled with color or not, such as the text, is irrelevant in some cases as the engraving machine or cutting machine only sees the vector outline or wireframe regardless of color fills.

Vector graphic stencil for engraving

For the sandblasting method the black areas here will be sandblasted therefore the white areas will look raised.

Vector graphic stencil for engraving

I am guessing the image can be reversed for the opposite effect. I am told is not actually sand but Aluminum Oxide.

Vector graphic stencil for engraving

Bill from Earth Surface Engraving was kind enough to send me this work-in-progress photo.

Vector graphic stencil for engraving

And the final product. Which is a different type of engraving than the original.

We welcome final-product photos from our engraving clients. Thanks to Earth Surface Engraving for sending the final engraving photos above. See before and after vector line art drawings for engraving here