3D Laser Engraved Wooden Crest

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Introduction: 3D Laser Engraved Wooden Crest

About: Trotec Laser Canada provides laser engraving and laser cutting machines for processing a wide variety of materials. Cut, engrave and mark wood, paper, metal, acrylic, leather, stone, plastics and many more. ...

We have a special treat, showing you the mesmerizing 3D wooden engraving of the Canadian Coat of Arms using 1/4" solid maple wood. We used the relief mode in our JobControl software to auto-adjust the power of the laser according to the amount of gray shade in our 3D image. With stunning results!

Step 1: How We Created and Used the File

The finished file used to generate the image was made by Gantry Company (gantryco.com).

We supplied them with the vector image and they transformed it to be 3D!

We then made it grey scale so we can see the depth of the laser engraving.The darkest grey's are deeper than the lighter grey's.

As the laser passes from left to tight the black images use 100% power while white uses no power and grey scale uses a particular power based on the percentage of grey.

We've attached the 3D TIFF file that you would use when sending to over to the laser, or you can use the .cdr or .eps file if you'd like to do a 2D version.

Step 2: Printing the Image

To print the 3D image press File, Print, Preferences then switch the mode from standard to "relief" and viola! You have begun the printing process.

After this, comes a fairly long process time (about 30min for a crest that's 5" x 5") and clean up but with amazing results!

You can either clean it simply using a tooth brush and water or use a bevel machine with a foam tip.

For the best results use light woods like Maple.

Step 3: Picking the Wood and Settings

We tested out a variety of woods including ash, cherry, mahogany, cedar and maple. We chose 1/4 inch maple as it typically charred the least amount and we were able to clean it up fairly easily in the post process cycle.

The best way to print the image using the Speedy300 100w flex laser machine was with 100 power, 35 speed for the first 2 passes.

Then 2 passes with 60 power, 100 speed to clean up the residue from the first heavy duty passes.

The higher the power the bigger the depth, but the lower the power the more details you get.

Enjoy and have fun with it!

Written by: Zina Aahmed

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    10 Comments

    This instructable is uninformative in the extreme, nothing more than a bait-and-switch advertisement for Trotec lasers and gantryco.com.

    3D relief engraving with laser systems is a difficult and interesting application. Information regarding the production of the complex files needed to control a laser systemq them is difficult to find. Despite it's title, this Instructable offers nothing in that regard besides "hire someone to do the work for you. We did." It is difficult to imagine a less instructable Instructable.

    Adding insult to injury, Trotec states:

    "We've attached the 3D TIFF file that you would use when sending to over to the laser"

    That statement is utterly false. They post the original vector .cdr and a .eps files, but they do not post the "3D TIFF" file they paid gantryco.com to make for them.

    Incredibly lame, Trotec.

    1 reply

    We're sorry you feel so strongly about this. Putting a 3D file out of a 2D file was done in ArtCam and took over a week to do for gantryco. We never advertised that we will show how to set the 3D artwork file out of the 2D file.

    We simply showed that it can be done using the TIFF file (which by the way is provided in step 2) and a Trotec laser.

    We never hide the fact that we are here as a company selling laser machines, and we create projects for the Instructables community to use, re-create and alter.

    Gantryco are experts at creating 3D files out of 2D, and we do promote their sservices if anyone needs to create elaborate 3D files, that is all.

    Hey! You say you cut at 100 power and 35 speen for the first two passes, what units are these in? % power? mm/s? Seems an aweful lot of power at a slow speed so i'm assuming you're using different units?

    1 reply

    Hi sorry for the late reply. The power and speed setting is in our JobControl laser software where you would put the settings. The first 2 passes are deep to get the 3D effect to pop, then you can do 1-2 low power passes to carve out the details. Hope that helps!

    So they simply turned the images into 3d, their software gave the imagery the gradients required for printing for a 3d result. But you printed from a 2d file right? a High Res TIFF. How many passes did you do with this? speed and power?

    1 reply

    Hi Sorry for the late response. Yes exactly it's a 2D file. We did 4 passes. you really should experiment based on the wattage, laser type and wood type (you can also do it in acrylic). We made 2 slow passes with lots of power to give it depth, then 2 more quick passes with lower passes to give it more detail and clean any charring.

    Amazing!
    Having your 3rd party convert it to 3D really shows off what your machine is capable of. Good call!

    1 reply

    Thanks Steve! Just wanted to clarify that this laser did not print anything in 3D, it's an engraving setting that engraves a 3D image.