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What is Sub-Surface Laser Engraving?

Here at Laser Crystal, we use a specialist engraving technique called sub-surface engraving to create precisely personalised bespoke glass trophies and awards. However, have you ever wondered what sub-surface engraving is and how we use it to create beautiful bespoke awards and trophies?

So, What is Sub-Surface Engraving?

Sub-surface laser engraving (SSLE), also known as bubblegrams because of the shape it creates during the engraving process, uses laser technology to create tiny bubbles inside the glass. These bubbles then come together to create a beautifully precise image. This technique of personalisation allows us to create 3D images and text within our crystal glass and create a floating appearance.

sub surface laser engraving

How Does Sub-surface Laser Engraving Work?

Sub-surface laser engraving works by using a very strong local temperature gradient to treat the specific point in the glass with thermal stress, which results in a small fracture (bubble) at the point of precision. Once many of these small fractures are combined it creates an image.

Using our specialised CAD software, we take your own design or create you a completely bespoke new one with our in-house design service; these designs are then converted into x-y-z coordinate dots used for the laser engraving process.

For the laser beam to create micro fractures within the material, in this case glass, it must possess an essential property: very high optical transparency. This is why all our trophies, awards and paperweight are made from optically pure crystal glass.

Once the engraving has been completed the fractures become even more pronounced when viewed in visible light as the glass within the fractures scatter the light, creating a beautiful effect.

What is The Difference Between Sub-Surface Engraving & Standard Engraving

The key difference between sub-surface laser engraving and standard laser engraving is that sub-surface engraving can create three dimensions images, whereas surface engraving can only create two dimensional. The benefit of this, is that firstly, the beautiful engraving can be viewed from every angle of the object. Secondly, it allows for greater possibilities when designing your bespoke award, trophy, or paperweight in terms of design capabilities.

Additionally, many people don’t realise that with sub-surface laser engraving the surface of the object remains unmarked as the laser offers such precision that one the exact coordinate point is impacted.

Colour & Sub-surface Laser Engraving

Sub-surface laser engraving doesn’t allow colour to be applied during the laser engraving process. However, because the engraving is accentuated by light, the final product can be illuminated with coloured light, thus creating the appearance of a coloured engraving.

Additionally, here at Laser Crystal, we offer colour printing, allowing you to add colour, as well as additional design elements to your engraved trophies, awards, and paperweights.

Learn More About Sub-Surface Engraving at Laser Crystal

If you’ve still got questions about sub-surface engraving and how we use it to create beautiful, standout awards, trophies, and paperweights, then feel free to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today. You can contact Laser Crystal on 01202 675000 or email sales@lasercrystal.co.uk for more information.

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