There are 2 kinds of engraving on minerals, depending on the composition:
Laser etching mainly for slates, tiles and bricks. Such materials react with white color when lasered, which gives a naturally contrasted result.
Deep laser engraving: marble, granite, basalt, lava stone, natural stone, pebbles, ceramic, porcelain, and black granite, will give a non-contrasted or slightly contrasted result.
Often, paint or lacquer is added afterwards to get a nice colored result.
Cutting minerals is not possible with a laser.
Engraving Granite or Marble with a text or a photo is an ancient Funeral tradition (mainly in Europe and South America).
Now, engraving on different kinds of stone is very popular in new markets like Jewelry, interior design and crafts, events, gifts, and signage.
Laser engraving on minerals produces a result similar to sandblasting: a surface engraving that gives the impression that the stone has been bleached.
If the contrast is not sufficient for your customer or if you want a specific color, Gravotech offers the popular “Gravolaque” lacquer range: yellow, green, blue, red, white, black, silver, gold and shiny gold are available as standard however your specific color can also be developed on demand.
Gravolaque is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
Engraving photos on minerals can be complex as it depends on the surface state.
Generally, the rule of a thumb is to set 300 DPI maximum on the photo resolution to obtain a nice result. This resolution can be increased if the surface state is similar and smooth.
We recommend using very dark black marble (or very light white marble) so the contrast is even more beautiful.
Gravolaque will always be necessary as marble does not contract naturally when engraved with a laser.
A 1.5’’ lens is recommended for photo engraving with a thin spot beam.
Minerals are not flammable, therefore stone laser engraving has a very limited risk of fire ignition, contrary to Acrylic or Wood processing when they need to be monitored.
A low power source is enough, even for a large photo but it will take longer as you need multiple passes.
Integrated laser system to mark and engrave on all metals.
Medium fully automated laser marking station.
Small laser engraver for all kind of engravings.
Small CO2 laser engraver and cutter for personalization, signage and creative.
Large laser engraver and cutter that can do everything.
Integrated laser system to mark organic materials.
Extra large laser engraving and cutting machine for high productivity.
Medium CO2 or Fiber laser engraving and cutting machine for signage and small series.
Rotary machines can process minerals (engrave only), but we recommend it only for expert users, as bur diamonds are required and they can be very expensive. Moreover, the risk of cutter break increases as the granite quality decreases. Granite is mainly used for headstones and other memorials and images of loved ones or logos can only be engraved on granite using laser equipment.
Gravostyle ™is an all-in-one software that allows you to create your composition and run the laser with ease. It embeds a material library that will help to select the best setting for your material. However, for users of other software, our lasers can also be perfectly driven by third-party-software (CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, etc.) through our LSolution Driver.