Dimensional Fun

This is not a particularly original technique, but I’ve applied it in some ways that generate interest, so I’m writing it up here.

As an art project, I wanted to do a series of plaques with literary themes - specifically, great first and last lines from novels. I played with 3D Engrave, but it wasn’t creating the effect I was looking for. I tried some things with a base layer and cut letters glued on top, but didn’t want to comprehend the hell of alignment that would bring.

For another project, I was researching kerf and the thought struck me: I can use the standard SD Engrave to create a “trough” for my to-be-set letters if I make a pass on the first layer after expanding my text’s path by a point (I use Illustrator).

The experiment bore fruit immediately.

I worked out a format that included a frame etched and cut in the same manner.

and some with other graphical elements:

People seem to like the look and I’ve been able to sell a few on Etsy.


Bet you could sell a bunch to local libraries and bookstores. :grinning:


Love these!

These are fantastic. I used a similar technique when making a sign for my house. Carving out a spot for the letters to sit in really helps with the alignment, as you say.

1 Like


1 Like

Oooooo, the Poe one is especially cool!

The Fahrenheit 451 has been the big seller.


What a great idea!! The plaques are fantastic.

These are really appealing – nice work!

Wow! I really love these.

:sunglasses: really cool work - I’ll give that technique a shot.

Very nice! I like your design eye and think these are very nicely done.

If you’d like to sell more, I found your listings and think you may benefit from reading up on some Etsy selling basics to improve your listings’ visibility and likelihood of getting found in searches. There are some pretty easy things you can do/tweak to make the most of title, description, and tags.


Thank you. I hurriedly put those up, and I know I need to spend time optimizing.


I’ve also done some signage like this, but I’m really liking your twist on it, especially adding the graphic to the background! For mine I had actually engraved into the base like you, but also engraved the back of the words and had mirrored them for the cuts. Here’s an example of mine:

I started doing it with keychains so that the words didn’t stick out, but like I said, yours are actually visually appealing the way you’ve been doing them!


Did you keep this one like this, or fill in all of the letters?

I think it would be a really cool way to emphasize certain text - add a typography element outside of using a different font, weight, etc.


Filled all - this was just showing the process.

1 Like

This is totally awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Stunning! I’d love to see what other effects you could create using more materials and colors. Then again, the cohesiveness of this look is alluring!


Thank you for giving us a great tool to make this stuff work.

Love this!
This is exactly what I asked my husband to figure out. Now I can provide him with your post to help to implement.