Surface Engraving

Hi Guys,

I’m making a keychain with a John Wick design. As you can see it takes to leather engraving very well. However when I engraved on Pg medium acrylic I got a bad result. Only when I hold it to the light and tilt it do I see the image I thought would get in the first place. Most of the time it looks rough and unidentifiable. I tried scoring the image and that looks even worse as you can see. What would you recommend for getting a perfect image on acrylic?


That’s what you get engraving a clear material. You can fill in the engraved areas with ink, paint, sharpie, etc.


Invert the engraving and see if you like that better.


How would I do that? I’m not exactly sure. Never did it before. Thanks

Open up your design in a raster art program, and click Adjustments > Invert Colours (That’s PaintNet, all programs will have something like that)

This is the original on the left, and the inverted on the right

If you put this in the machine it will engrave the black area, but leave the white untouched - which should make it clearer on a clear acrylic. An example of an image on clear acrylic: Gandalf Acrylic Key Ring (that one may also be helped by covering 90% of the surface!)


Well you’ll never get good contrast with clear acrylic unless you do color in the etched areas (acrylic paint works great, sticks to etched surface & easy to rub off the smooth/unetched area–test the tool first to make sure you don’t scratch the acrylic while trying to remove the paint–I like wood ice cream bar sticks myself).

In PhotoShop you can “invert” with “negative image” tool–it’s under “Image” top menu bar I think–just click until you find it in the pull down menu that appears under each category, or just search for it in the Help of the software you’re using.

But remember, dark areas are cut away, so inverting might not be the look you’re after.

Never say never :slight_smile:

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Shaken up there a bit vs stirred up, weren’t we?:wink:
I should have said “high” contrast, as “good” is very subjective!

I was referring to the link I provided above:

I’d say that’s both high contrast and good, don’tcha think?


No argument, your Gandolf is awesome!!

This is another thread about inverting an image and I think it’s what would fix your issue.


You’re breathtaking!

It looks like you’ve received some amazing advice from the community on this! Did these suggestions help you get your print set up the way you wanted it? If not, let us know and we’ll help further.

As you have seen, inverting is your answer. I encountered the same thing in my exploration - then I had an idea… Shine a light through it and focus by distance.

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Hey Guys,

Sorry for the late reply to you all. Yes!!! Inverting worked perfectly for me. Thanks so much for showing me how to fine tune the process. You guys are the best. Amazing :blush::100:

Getting excited to finally sell these.

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