Awards & Engraving

August '18

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The definition of carve is to cut in order to produce an aesthetically pleasing object or design. Some may say it all began thou- sands of years ago with petroglyphs other- wise known as rock engravings. These are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Today, the easiest way to carve is commonly referred to as sandcarving, and photoresist film makes it even easier. WHAT IS PHOTORESIST FILM? Photoresist film is a material used in an exposure and development process to transfer tremendous detail for decorative sandcarving applications. When exposed to UV (ultra violet) light, the film undergoes cross linking in its chemical makeup to increase or decrease resistance to abrasive. Combined with a photopositive artwork image to block light where desired, the film becomes a precise stencil of any art- work and can be applied to many different substrates. After application to a substrate, the piece can then be sandcarved, leaving a permanent design on the substrate. BENEFITS OF PHOTORESIST FILM OVER OTHER METHODS Photoresist films are the leading tech- nology in the sandcarving industry. They pro- vide multiple benefits over alternate methods such as plotter-cut vinyl, chemical etching, and laser engraving. The three primary ben- efits of photoresist film are its retention of fine details, ease of use, and the variety of substrates to which they can be used. When using photoresist film, fine- detailed designs can be achieved that are unattainable with other methods. It can transfer any image, including halftone photographs, from your computer onto the resist. This amount of detail is not pos- sible with plotter-cut vinyl or acid etching. Additionally, photoresist films are much easier to use, eliminating error and loss of time. Traditional hand-cut vinyl is labor intensive, and plotter-cut vinyl requires the user to manually weed out or pick out the images before sandcarving. Photore- sist films use water and light to develop the details the human hand is incapable of resolving. Lastly, we feel that although modern innovations such as laser engraving allow for automated processing of the film, lasers are sometimes limited to flat substrates, light surface etches, and a rough, chipped finish rather than the smooth lines sand- caving provides. While lasers do work well with wood and plastic, we believe they are not the ideal choice for glass and curved surfaces. The overall benefits of sandcarving are easily seen when using brittle substrates where both fine detail and deep carving can be achieved. The combination of deep carving, fine detail, versatility of substrates, and ability to add color to sandcarved pieces lends itself to creating high-value pieces. As an example, some markets can see 70 to 90 percent gross profit margins. A look at photoresist Michael Sullivan is the marketing manager for IKONICS Corporation. He currently manages the Marketing Department for IKONICS Corporation divisions, including IKONICS Imaging, Chromaline Screen Print Products, IKONICS Advanced Materials Solu- tions, and IKONICS Industrial Inkjet Solutions. By Michael Sullivan The Capabilities of SANDCARVING L ooking for ideas to grow your business? The capabilities of sandcarving offer a logical extension of your current business. Sandcarving offers entrance into numerous markets including gifts, collectibles, memorial items, promotional products, and signage. From extremely fine detail to personalized characterization, to multi-level deep carving, the possibilities with sandcarving are virtually limitless. 64 • A&E AUGUST 2018

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