Engraving vs. Sublimating

Sublimation engraving isn’t actually engraving because instead of extracting material we are actually permeating the polyester finish of the metal. Your engraving is printed, pressed on a metal plate, and then attached to your award. During the pressing the heat and pressure from our 350° F heat press allows for the sublimation to transfer through the polyester coating of the metal and onto your plate. Sublimation is available in full color or in single colors. Our standard sublimation engraving is black. Sublimation looks best on a light colored metal such as our stock gold and silver anodized aluminum. We can sublimate text from our vast collection of fonts to graphics from our art library to custom art and logos.

Computer engraving uses a computer to determine where the diamond tipped scratch/rotary head is supposed to remove material from an object. The engraving for computer engraving will expose the color of the metal. For example, on a blue anodized aluminum plate the engraving will appear as silver (color of aluminum). Computer engraving is the oldest technology that we use to perform engraving. We’ve been progressive in putting our resources into newer engraving technology such as sublimation and laser engraving. Great care has to be taken when handling freshly engraved plate because the metal extracted during the engraving process is on top of the plate and may scratch the surface of the plate if it is wiped away. Generally excess material is removed with the assistance of an air source. Computer engraving is used a great deal with perpetual plates. However the problem with perpetual plates is that the accuracy of the machine is up to the thousandths position (0.001”) and the table that the plate is mounted to engrave is only accurate up to (0.25”). So it is near impossible to consistently line up the next line of engraving on perpetual plates.