How do you do it?
There are a number of processes involved to achieve a good result. Our designers and production team have been producing laser engraved photo crystals for years and have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Step 1 – Firstly we crop and edit your image in accordance with our guidelines to ensure we achieve the best result.
Step 2 – Using proprietary software we transform your image into a suitable laser file that consists of hundreds of thousands of tiny points. Each of these points has a co-ordinate that the laser needs to produce the image.
Step 3 – We place a solid block of optical crystal in the shape that you have selected, into the laser.
Step 4 – The laser plots each point inside the crystal to form the image. In the case of 3-Dimensional crystals, the image is built up layer by layer. The laser focuses its energy on the inside of the crystal and doesn’t mark the surface at all. The process is known as sub-surface laser engraving. The end result is that the image is actually suspended within the crystal itself, creating a product that must be seen to be believed.
Step 5 – The crystal is inspected and shipped.
Do you need two laser beams to produce the image?
The laser uses only one beam to produce the image.
Can I have colour?
The crystals can only be produced in monochrome. There have been some attempts to produce in colour, however the colour was achieved by adding a chemical to the crystal, this meant that it was generally only possible to produce the image in one single colour, ie red or yellow. Multiple colours or skin tones could not be achieved. There were also numerous additional steps required, which meant the process was not economically viable unless an image was produced in the thousands.
There are cheap inferior products available where a colour image is just stuck on the back of a crystal, however these may fade over time and are a completely different product to our sub-surface laser engraved photo crystals.
Are they plastic?
No they are not plastic or Perspex.
What are they made from?
Our Photo crystals are made from the purest form of optical glass, also known as K-9 optical crystal. The optical crystal is free from chemicals that discolour it (like normal float glass) which means it is optically clear. It is also created in such a way that it is free from stress lines and imperfections.
Can you laser etch into glass or my piece of crystal?
We can laser into normal float glass and various other forms of glass. You would need to contact our team to discuss your requirements.
How long does it take?
We endeavour to turnaround our photocrystals as quickly as possible. Generally 2D photo crystals are dispatched within 1-3 days and 3d Photocrystals are dispatched within 2-4 days.
Is my picture suitable?
The main thing is to ensure that your image is nice and clear. Poor quality images produce poor quality crystals. The image doesn’t have to be a huge file, usually around 500kb – 3mb is fine. If you are unsure whether or not your image is suitable, please contact one of our team.
What is the difference between 2d and 3d?
A 2D image is flat, whereas a 3D image has depth to it. Please view our 3D conversion page for further explanation and videos.
Why is 3d more expensive?
The 3d is more expensive due to the 3D conversion process required. Our designers need to convert your standard photograph into 3-Dimnesions and this requires a lot of skill. The process can take some time, hence the reason for the extra charge.
Why are some crystals only suitable for 2d?
Because an image for a 3d photocrystal has depth to it, we also need a thicker or deeper crystal to be able to laser it.
Whereas an image for a 2d photocrystal is flat inside the crystal, we can laser the image into a much thinner crystal (as thin as approx. 3mm). This means that any of our shapes can be produced as a 2D photocrystal where as only those crystals with some extra thickness can be used for 3D photocrystals.
Can I add text?
Yes you can, you can opt to further personalise your crystal with the addition of text. This is an option for you to select in our crystal design software, you can preview the text on your crystal of choice during the order process.
Do I need a light base?
For best results, we always recommend purchasing a light base with your crystal. The crystals look their best when there is plenty of light against a darker background.
Do you remove the background?
For 3D photo crystals that background is removed, we don’t transform the background into the 3D only the main subjects.
For 2D crystals removing the background is optional and can be selected during the order process.
Can I send you two photos and merge them together?
Yes you can, you will need to email the images to us so that we can have a look. There is usually a small artwork charge for this service. Our team will advise on what the extra costs will be.