Fill in engraving with ink

Gravure invullen met inkt - Snijlab

In addition to cutting out objects, it is also possible to engrave lines or surfaces. This technique is often used to indicate part numbers, illustrations, texts and floor plans or textures in models. By filling in the engraving with ink you can create a greater contrast, or simply color in all the lines. Completing the form will be explained step by step in this tutorial.

To work

There are two different types of engravings: line engravings and area engravings. Both can be completed with this technique. Examples and a detailed explanation of what engraving is can be found here.

To have an engraving made, you must first ensure that the cutting drawing is properly prepared. Line engravings are simply indicated in the drawing as lines with the appropriate color and layer. For the conventions, see our drawing rules. Texts are special objects in most drawing programs and must first be converted into lines via 'create outlines' or 'explode'. In addition, there are various 'single line fonts' such as 'Machine Tool Gothic' that are specifically intended for line engravings.

A number of points to pay extra attention to when making a drawing with engravings:

Stroke: use thin lines (0.2mm or hairline).
No fills: remove fills and hatches. For area engravings, draw the outline of the area you want engraved. Make sure the outlines close.
Explode text: create outlines (strokes) of texts (command 'explode' in CAD programs and 'create outlines' in illustrator).
The color of the objects themselves (illustrator), and the layer name the objects are in (rhino, autocad, etc.) determine the final edit.

Supplies needed for coloring acrylic:

  • acrylic with engraving
  • edding 750 paint marker
  • acetone
  • micro-fibre cloth

Supplies needed for coloring solid surface:

  • solid surface with engraving
  • edding 750 paint marker
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • sander or sanding block

Material types

The material you choose largely determines what the end product will look like. Plastics are best suited for filling in with paint markers. The best result is achieved with acrylic or solid surface.

The following materials were used for this tutorial:

  1. acrylic black
  2. acrylic white
  3. solid surface white
  4. acrylic translucent matt colorless
  5. acrylic transparent colorless

Fill in

After receiving your carving, most plastics still contain protective film. Remove these before you get started.

Make sure the engraving is dust-free by rubbing the surface with a micro-fiber cloth.

Color the engraving completely with a paint marker, making sure it reaches the bottom of the lines. Don't be afraid to color outside the lines, anything next to it will be removed later.

Allow the paint marker to dry for at least 10 minutes when using acrylic. If you are working with solid surfaces, let it dry for at least 30 minutes.

Cleaning acrylic

Moisten part of the micro-fiber cloth with acetone. Rub this over the surface of the acrylic to remove the excess paint market. Once all excess paint marker has been wiped away, a light-colored haze often remains on the acrylic. You can remove this by repeating the process with a clean piece of cloth that you also moisten with acetone.

If the engraving is not colored sufficiently, you can fill it in again with paint marker and clean it with acetone after ten minutes. It is better to apply several thin layers than 1 very thick layer.

Please note: matte black acrylic cannot be cleaned with acetone!
The use of matte black acrylic is not recommended for filling in engravings.

Cleaning solid surfaces

Check whether the paint marker on the solid surface is completely dry. If this is not the case, the dust created during sanding will stick.

Evenly sand the entire surface with the engraving. Make sure you sand flat and not too deep, so that the engraving is not sanded away locally. This can be done by machine, but manual sanding also works well.

Remove the sanding dust by spraying the surface clean with compressed air. If you are not able to spray it clean with compressed air, you can also rub it clean with a clean microfiber cloth.

End result

Completing the engraving is now complete. Edding 750 paint marker is water resistant and requires no further finishing. In addition to white, black and red, many other colors of paint markers are available.

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