Difference between Engraving and Etching


The etching is known as a technique that was used traditionally in printmaking and it is a type of process that is used nowadays to make a variety of designs that dates back to the Middle Age. Etching would usually be done on metals such as zinc or copper however it is not limited to these two metals as other metals may also be used for the etching process. The way it works is that the metal sheet would firstly be prepped with a type of wax that is resistant to acid which may also be known as the “ground” and this metal sheet will be used later on for cutting some lines into. After that, once the metal sheet has been fully dipped into the acid, the parts of the exposed metal are bitten which will result in some incised markings. New kinds of etching are available as there is rapid development in technologies such as laser etching.


So you may be wondering what is the difference between engraving and etching? Well, the main thing that makes engraving different from etching is the amount of metal that is eradicated in the process. You need to understand that the etching process would only remove the upper layer of the surface of the material whereas the engraving process would cause a deeper level of cut into the material used. Engraving is a method where a plate of soft metal is being cut into by using a burin tool so that an image would be able to be formed. The engraving method was developed as a technique used for printmaking during the 15th century and for it to be preserved, the process of steel facing was created and it is used up to this day.

Laser Etching and Laser Engraving

Now let’s take a look at laser etching and laser engraving together that we know what etching and engraving are. Both of these techniques utilize a beam with a high temperature to liquefy the chosen material. This means that both of these techniques have the same effectiveness in creating your designs on your preferred materials. When dealing with laser engraving, it’s more likely to be able to handle more tear and wear from managing laser etching. However, laser etching may be a better option for parts that requires a high level of safety and precision as the engraving process has a slight potential to cut a little bit too deep and consequently ruined the core parts of the project design.