on China Black granite
is another option. The piece above was done for me on a 12” x
12” piece of black granite. It is quite beautiful.
The resolution is excellent.
I experimented with the technique for some time. I had several
tributes done to remember my cat, Zoe, and dog, Kiwi. I was
not happy with either of them. The images were dark and hard
to see. The images reproduced need to have outstanding quality
and high contrast.
the laser process on black stone is very nice, the actions
of blowing sand and debris along with acid rain will make
this tribute disappear eventually. I toured the cemetery
where the Wright Brothers are buried in Dayton, Ohio. I noticed
the lettering on some old stones, 150 plus years, was half
eroded away. Laser imaging is very shallow compared
to that deeply sandblasted lettering. So it’s not hard
to predict the eventual outcome. Also the laser engraved
a tendency to disappear temporarily when they get wet. Some
manufacturers rub the engraving with paint or stain to stop
this from happening and increase contrast. That can present
its own problems since those fillers are not
UV stable. I believe laser imaged stone is better suited
for indoor displays.
worked, at one time, with a company that used a variety of
lasers. I thought we might be able to do laser imaging on
the stainless or titanium. They made twenty passes with a
YAG laser on a piece of coated stainless. The eventual image
was no good, and the heat generated by the multiple passes
warped the .060” metal. There has been a great improvement
in lasers in recent years. We worked with a company in Florida
that did some experimental etching on our coated stainless.
The results were mixed. Some of the imaging was good, but
results were not consistent.
can etch gold and silver because they are soft metals.
You can find many companies offering laser engraved photo
pendants. The look is somewhat holographic. The drawback,
as explained to me by an owner of a gold photo pendant, is
the softness of the metal. After wearing the piece for two
years the image had almost disappeared. And the piece cost
this lady over $200. We can do custom pendants as well, but
our technique is superior! This technique might lend itself
to larger memorial tributes if you could afford the gold
- silver will tarnish. The inherent problem is that someone
would probably steal it due to the value of the metal alone.
has been done for quite some time. It is especially popular
in the sign and award industry. Thin sheets of 'laserable'
anodized or painted aluminum are etched with a low power
CO2 laser. We experimented with this as well. The images
are pretty good, but they can't get the resolution we achieve.
In fact, most photographs set up for laser etching on wood
and aluminum are put through a program designed to render
the photo as line art. The sharp contrasts produced through
this procedure render better using the laser. Aluminum also
oxidizes. Have you ever seen an aluminum lawn chair that
has been outside near salt water? The paints or anodized
colors are not UV stable, meaning they will fade with time.
At any rate, you wouldn't put an aluminum plaque on a loved
Etched Marble Plaques
There are companies offering
a laser etched, marble plaques that can be affixed to an existing
stone using a bonding agent. Marble is a softer stone and will
be subject to quicker degradation via the sand blast effect.
These thin plaques can be easily broken, and the glue that
holds the plaque to the stone will eventually fail. This is
an option, but probably not the best.
you have photos that have high contrast, a leaser etched
granite heirloom would be very nice for home display, just
like my tiger above. The only concern should be breakage.
That could happen. I want my family members remembered in
a medium that cannot break, fade, or burn.