Cutouts Vs Engravings

I get a lot of great questions about cutouts and engravings. This post attempts to explain the difference between the two and walk through how they are correctly designed.


What is a Cutout?

These designs use a laser to cut all the way through the wood and expose any lighting inside the heater. They must be designed like a stencil and require islands and bridges to preserve the detail. The bridges must also be large and stable enough to not break with use. This makes them quite difficult to design. When searching for good images for cutouts, I typically include the term "stencil" with my search.  Here is some more info on stencil design.


What is an engraving? 

Engravings can be done easily with any image. A laser burns the detail into the wood. High resolution black and white images are extremely helpful in creating a good look.


Can a cutout and engraving be combined?

Yes! This is helpful when there is too much detail to be entirely cutout. This requires some difficult design and setup, but it is totally doable and creates a really cool look.