View Full Version : Need help with Memorial Plaque

Jeff Wilkins
05-18-2011, 8:52 AM
Hi all,

I have never modified a picture for engraving and do not have a lot of time at this point to work at it. I am a teacher with finals coming up and I have this project that needs to get done soon. We had a guidance counselor pass away this year from cancer and the students are doing a memorial plaque for her. Here is what they gave me to work from. The is going to be in a display case with 1000 paper cranes hanging above it. I am thinking the text needs to be bigger, viewing distance will be about 4 feet. They want the picture to be an oval but I don't have a lot of skill with corel yet though I do have X5 installed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We were thinking about lasering it on white acryllic and filling with blue or black paint. Any suggestions you have I will take as this is my first attempt at this. The picture will be about 6in tall. I think they want the plaque around 8x12 landscape. We usually use the laser for prototyping parts for engineering students. Thank you!

Jeff Wilkins
HSE High School

Mike Null
05-18-2011, 9:39 AM


Everything you want to do can be done in PhotoPaint. Take a look at this tutorial by Alex Galvez it's not exactly what you want but may steer you in the right direction. I suggest you find his other tutorials as well. He is terrific.

Frank Corker
05-18-2011, 5:55 PM
Ok seeing as you are in a big hurry and it's an important one. This should get you enough to make a plaque. I have used an average font which most computers have in them. The image has been processed through photograv for engraving onto white acrylic and then you apply black paint over the top. I've included a slightly larger picture (also ready to engrave) should you choose to make the plaque bigger.

Jeff I don't know what your laser is but I would recommend that you sacrifice a piece of acrylic (or do the back of the one you will use to do a test run). DO NOT READJUST THE SIZE OF THE IMAGES - the text you can play with to your hearts content. Engraving the image will not require as much power as the text, so test it first. Use black acrylic paint, wipe it on with your finger or a brush, don't leave it too long to dry and then wipe off the excess, let it dry and then polish off with a soft cloth and you should get a good result.

Joseph B. Chritz
05-18-2011, 8:06 PM
Hi Jeff,

Hereís another possibility.
Go to your local glass shop and find some CLEAR CAST ACRYLIC.
If you canít find it locally order some, but it MUST be CAST.
Thickness isnít real important; you will be engraving the back of the acrylic.
Get enough so you can practice with your laser settings.
Delete everything except the oval with Dianeís face.
Raster engrave the oval at different settings until the outcome is the best.
Use those settings for the entire engraving.
Drape your school colors behind the acrylic to better show the white engraving.
Diane.cdr is as the picture, after that I changed the text to 18 pt bold and saved as Diane2.cdr. I think that will look better.
These were done in X3.

HOMEWORK: (This wonít be your last project)

Corel Photopaint
Cutout lab
8 bit grey scale
Internet search for Photograv


Jeff Wilkins
05-19-2011, 3:11 PM
You guys are AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much for your help! I will try both solutions. We have a GCC Spirit GX 60W. It is a beast. Thanks again.

Jeff Wilkins
05-20-2011, 9:18 AM
195229195228195227195226195225195224Okay I did a test run today with the file from Frank. Please let me know what I am doing incorrectly. My settings are 70 speed, 100power, 400ppi and 500dpi for the rastering. It seems there is too much black in the photo. Also, should I change the test to a different color and change the settings for that color, or delete the picture run the text, and then delete the text and run the picture in two seperate runs? I don't know which is better. Thanks for the feedback. Also do i need to use DNA to clean the surface before painting? I am assuming that is why I am getting the streaking at the top.

Jeff Wilkins
05-21-2011, 9:30 AM
Any suggestions?

Frank Corker
05-21-2011, 9:42 AM
Jeff, just looked at your attempts. The writing is fine. The marks that you are getting above the writing are caused by the hot engraving plume that leaves the laser strike point area. When you have finished engraving the writing, rub the area with isoproponal alcohol, it will remove all of the hazing. The black paint at the moment is clinging to it and because you never cleaned it after engraving. The picture needs to be engraved seperately from the writing I think. Don't try to get a deep engraving on the picture, do it lightly, the paint will adhere to even the finest of scratches to the surface. It would help if you told us what type of laser you are using. Wattage and make.

Frank Corker
05-21-2011, 9:44 AM
To give you an indication of power settings I can only quote what I would be doing the picture with - 300dpi 100 speed 35 power - this is with a 45w Epilog. I hope this is sinking in Jeff, light power and fast speed!

Bruce Volden
05-21-2011, 1:39 PM
+1 with Frank----2 files, one for pic other for text. Also use less power more speed like Frank say'd.


Jeff Wilkins
05-21-2011, 3:40 PM
Thanks. I will retry on Monday and post the results! You all have been a great resource!

I am using a Spirit GX 60W

What ppi setting should I select. I have read that 1200 ppi for cutting acryllic and I use 150ppi for cutting wood and 400-600 ppi when engraving wood. I don't know what I should use to engrave acryllic.