Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Do It?
There are several steps to achieving Sub-Surface Laser Engraving (SSLE) in Crystal.
Click here for a brief explanatory video of the technique used for 3D crystals
How can my picture end up inside a crystal block in 3D?
With 3D crystals, the image is built up layer by layer from the back to the front. The laser focuses on the inside of the crystal and doesn’t mark the surface. The process is known as subsurface laser etching. The result makes the image appear suspended within the crystal itself, creating a product that must be seen to be believed.
Step 1 – We remove the background, then crop and edit your photo to ensure we achieve the best result.
Step 2 – Using 3D modeling software, we convert your image into a laser file comprising hundreds of thousands of tiny laser strikes (white dots)
Each of these points has a coordinate within the crystal that information the laser uses to burn the image inside.
Step 3 – We place your choice of optical crystal into the laser.
Step 4 – The laser software plots each point inside the crystal to etch the image.
Step 5 – The crystal is inspected, boxed and shipped to you.
How To Order?
All orders are placed through our website. Select your crystal shape & size, upload your photo, add text (optional).
Backgrounds are always removed for 3D laser-etching and are included in the price.
Payment is online through our secure payment portal with SSL encryption – All major credit cards accepted, Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay.
How Long Does It Take?
Once you’ve placed your order you can expect your order 5-7 business days to your door.
What Is A Crystal Block Made From?
Our photo crystals are made from the purest optical glass - known as K9 optical crystal. It is free from chemicals that discolor (like normal glass) and is optically clear. This type of crystal is used for spectacles, binoculars and telescopes and is manufactured to a standard that is free from stress lines and imperfections. We guarantee our crystals.
Are My Photos Suitable For Etching?
The final quality of a personalized photo item depends on the original photo you provide us. The general rule is the better the quality of the photo the better quality engraving or printing it will provide for. Well lit, high resolution photos provide the best results. It is not necessary to upload pre-cropped pictures. Our professional staff of artists will crop the pictures according to the shape and edges of the item you order. If you have any specific requests, please write them under "Special Instructions".
Do You Remove The Background Of My Photos?
Yes, we remove the background from all 2D and 3D images during the conversion process as it gives the best result when laser-etching into a crystal.
Can I Add A Personalized Text Message To My Crystal?
You can personalize your crystal with the text of your choice. This is an option during the order process. The amount of text is limited by the size of the crystal you choose. There is no charge for adding a message to your crystal.
What Photo File Format Can I send you?
You can use almost any standard photo image file: .jpg, jpeg, .png, .bmp, and .gif
Will My Crystal Be In Color Like My Photo?
No. We're not there yet! images are produced in monochrome, evoking the classic quality of black and white photos.
Do I Need A Light Base?
To showcase your crystal in the best possible way we always recommend a light base to be placed under your crystal. Crystals look their best when there is light showing from underneath and when the crystal is positioned against a dark background.
Can You Combine Multiple Photos Into One Crystal?
Yes, we can combine multiple photos and etch them into a single crystal. This does depend on the size of the crystal. If in doubt contact us!
What’s The Best Way To Display My Crystal?
Photo crystals are best placed on an LED light base (sold separately) and displayed with a dark background.
Can You Convert Automobiles Or Buildings Into 3D?
Yes, but the 3D conversion will only produce front and side views as seen in your photo.
We can do full 3D models (360 degrees) laser-etching but each artwork and etching will need to be quoted on an individual basis. The quote will be based on the complexity of the artwork and cost of the crystal and conversion. Email your image file and we will send you back a quote within 48 hours.
Why Are Some Crystals Only Suitable For 2D, like your Ornaments and your Heart Shaped Keychains?
Because an image for 3D photo crystals has depth to it we need a thicker or deeper crystal to be able to laser three dimensions into the crystal. Whereas an image for a 2D photo crystal is flat inside the crystal so we can laser the image into a much thinner crystal. Any of our crystals can be etched with a 2D photo but only those with extra thickness or depth can be used for 3D.
How Are The Crystals Packaged?
Our crystals are sent in an elegant blue satin-lined presentation box with a black cardboard sleeve, no need for special gift wrapping.
Maintenance And Cleaning
Crystal is glass and should be treated as such. Care should always be exercised in its handling. To clean, wash with mild soap and warm water. Use a glass cleaner such as Windex if necessary. Dry with a dust free cloth. The interior of your crystal will always stay pristine and as vibrant as the day you received it.
Subsurface engraving is permanent, lasting as long as the crystal is intact. Guaranteed never to discolor or fade, you can be sure that your crystal will stay perfectly clear for years.