There is a specific type of laser engraving that works well for crystal called 3-D subsurface laser engraving. A computer is programmed to control a laser that hits the crystal at a particular size, depth, and location to produce a micro-fracture inside the crystal. The laser continues to produce millions of dot-like fractures inside the crystal that ultimately become a three-dimensional image that can be viewed from all sides. Flexibility is the primary advantage to 3-D subsurface laser engraving. Truly any image can be re-created. And, of course, customers think this is pretty cool.
On the flip side, the primary disadvantage to 3-D subsurface laser engraving is the high cost of the machinery and an expertly trained person to operate the machine. This reliable person will become an expert on the 3-D machine itself, the software it requires, as well as the software needed to create the art file(s). It can take hours to re-create a one-dimensional image from scratch using 3-D software. If you can purchase a 3-D machine, you can outsource creating the art files if needed.
If you don’t want to own and operate a 3-D subsurface laser engraving machine, you can still create 3-D crystal awards and gifts. Simply contract with one of the production facilities in United States. This allows for a faster production time and lower freight cost in comparison to overseas manufacturers.
—Bridget Dahlgren, Crystal D