Individualized gifts and unique items are very trendy. A photo engraving on wood or materials such as glass, acrylic, laminate, cork or anodized aluminum is a unique memory for eternity. With our high-quality JustLaser laser engraver, this can be done quickly and easily. Every detail, no matter how small, can be reproduced with precision. Neither specific photo processing nor extensive equipment is necessary for this. Rather, photo laser engraving is quick and easy to implement. The manageable investment in a JustLaser laser engraver usually pays for itself quickly!
A portrait, picture or photo engraved by laser on wood is an unforgettable memory for eternity. Wood is one of the best materials for photo engraving. As an individual gift for special occasions or a piece of jewelry for your own home, it captivates with its uniqueness. The quality of the result depends on the process resolution and the material used: a photo engraving on wood or glass can be done in a resolution of 333 dpi. Due to the grain of the wood, the engraving captivates with an unmistakable charm and the photo with a plastic appearance. Every detail, no matter how small, is usually easily recognizable.
Different types of wood ensure different results. For photo engraving on wood, light wood species such as birch, cherry, maple or poplar are particularly suitable, as the contrast ensures beautifully shaped results. However, when selecting the motif, also look for photos with good contrast and optimal exposure. If you choose wood species with a higher density, you will have to set a higher laser power. At the same time, the fiber density of different types of wood can differ greatly. Walnut, maple or cherry have a fine texture, while oak or pine are more textured. Poplar or maple are considered particularly popular engraving woods. With the right settings, you're guaranteed to get an impressive result that impresses with a detailed rendering, beautiful effects, and an even surface!
A photo engraving can be made on numerous materials: Photo engraving on wood is particularly popular and attractive. But glass, laminate, acrylic or anodized aluminum can also be provided with a photo motif using a laser.
The JustLaser laser engraver automatically optimizes the photo for processing. Nevertheless, a high-contrast motif or the exposure of the photo as well as the resolution are essential for a perfect result. Ideally, the image for photo engraving has a resolution of at least 300 dpi. There are no limits to your imagination when it comes to motifs: Images with good contrast, where the individual components stand out well from each other, are important. Images with unclear shadows, low exposure or blurred details are less suitable for photo engraving. Photos with usable but lower resolutions up to 500 dpi tend to produce more vivid engravings because the halftone dots cannot overlap.
When laser engraving photos on laminate or acrylic, a resolution of around 500-600 dpi is recommended. Those working with anodized aluminum will need a 600-1,000 dpi file for photo engraving to get the best results.
We will be happy to advise you on how to use your JustLaser laser engraver to ensure the best results with the desired motifs and materials. Our user-friendly laser software also allows you to choose from various raster algorithms. Thus, smooth engraving gradients in photo engraving as well as images with low contrast can be displayed in an optimized way.
In addition to the resolution of the image, the material also plays a role in the correct setting of the laser engraving machine. In photo engraving, the mistake is often made of combining too much laser power with too high a resolution. This results in an overlap of halftone dots and the image becomes one-dimensional, showing little detail. Keep in mind that the material should only be engraved discreetly on the surface for best results. Thus, it is recommended to reduce the laser power by ten percent compared to conventional engraving on this material. On high-quality materials, a combination of high speed (up to 100%) and lower power (5-10%) is recommended, although it is best to test for material residue in advance. If necessary, the power can also be increased gradually until the respective result is achieved. If you want to be on the safe side with regard to an optimum color result, it is best to create a so-called grayscale matrix before photoengraving.
Whether on wood, glass or acrylic, it is worth creating a grayscale matrix to find out the optimum engraving settings for the material in question. The test matrix contains 100 different gray levels. First, you need to set the power of your laser to the black level. After a 100% black field is engraved, 100% of the respective power is also converted. The speed of the machine is constant, the power of the laser engraver is directly related to the black level. If you create the grayscale matrix on wood, you will get different color results from white to dark brown. This way you can find out, select and save the setting of the desired color tone for your photo engraving on wood.
When laser engraving photos, in addition to a high-quality laser engraving machine, the image also matters. Digital photos consist of numerous pixels (pixels) in different colors. In the case of png or jpeg files, we speak of a raster graphic (bitmap), which in its entirety results in the displayed image. The more pixels there are, the better the quality (resolution) of the photo. However, when such images are greatly enlarged, the pixels are visible as small dots.
Your JustLaser laser engraver converts the images into black and white motifs when laser engraving photos. Rasterizing uses different dot spacing and sizes to convert the image into a grayscale motif. The appearance of the rasterization is simulated to the human eye as a mixture of colors. Depending on the effect and motif you want to depict, the JustLaser laser engraver lets you choose from several screening algorithms.