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Trophy Engraving Machine and Awards Engraving Terms

Trophy engraving machine technology from Gravograph provides you with innovation and ease-of-use.

If you're new to the trophy engraving industry, this glossary of commonly used trophy engraving machine and awards engraving terms will be a resource, helping you to expand your knowledge and your trophy engraving business.

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Trophy Engraving Terminology

The following is an excerpt from a December 2000 article in A&E Magazine, a leading trade publication for the awards and trophy engraving industry. These terms are helpful to know when entering the trophy engraving market.

Glossary of Awards & Engraving Terms
By Emerson Schwartzkopf and Rich Zydonik

If you're new to the industry, this glossary of commonly used awards and engraving terms will be a useful resource, helping you to expand your knowledge and your trophy engraving business.

3D Engraving: Process where Z axis can have variable settings of depth during a tool pass. Depth can be set through software control; creates more of a handcrafted look. Requires unique software and electronics.

Acid-etching: A method similar to sandblasting, used primarily for marking glass. A stencil of the artwork is either hand- or computer-cut and applied to the glass, which is then brushed with an acid mixture such as ammonium and sodium bifloride. After a specified length of time, the surface is washed and the stencil removed.

Acrylic: Thermoplastic resin-based plastic engraving substrate. Molecular structure of acrylic provides increased protection from sunlight's ultraviolet
(UV) rays; material noted for outdoor durability and colorfastness. Marketed under trade names such as Plexiglas and Lucite.

ADA: American with Disabilities Act; federal civil-rights legislation addressing the needs of physically impaired citizens. Sections dealing with signage include Title II, affecting government and public-sector activities, and Title III, involving the private sector. Additional rules are included in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).

Advertising Specialty: A product imprinted with an advertising message that is given away to promote a business name, product, etc.

Anodized: Metal (usually aluminum) with oxide-film coating, put on by electric charge. Film can be removed by engraving processes to reveal color of original metal substrate.

Arc: For engraving, tool path that deflects by a certain amount of degrees (such as 45 degrees or 90 degrees) to create a curve. Also, the curved baseline for placing characters in circular layouts.

Architectural Gauge: Thicker (1/4") plastic engraving substrate designed mainly for sign making. Allows for deeper removal of material and appearance of greater depth.

ASCII: (American Standard Code for Information Exchange): A standard method for storing and representing data. Using the ASCII standard allows the operator to create and use text from a wide variety of programs, and is the computer standard for text.

Auto layout: Software feature that automatically calculates baselines, margins, and letter heights for a layout.

Award: An item given to a person or persons for accomplishment or achievement.

Axis (X, Y, Z): Directions that tools are sent with any engraving machine to create an image. Generally, the X axis is the tool's movement from left to right from the origin point; the Y axis is movement towards and away from the origin; and the Z axis is the tool's up-and-down (perpendicular) movement into and out of the engraving substrate's surface.

Ball Holder: A trophy component designed with prong-like fingers to hold a football, baseball or similar item on a trophy engraving project.

Bar Pin: A decorative medal accessory consisting of a small bar (usually engravable), with a fastener on the back, to which a medal can be attached which allows an individual to wear the medal.

Base, Trophy: A trophy engraving project component that is the foundation of the trophy. May be wood, plastic, metal, etc.

Baseline: The distance from the bottom of a character or the imaginary line that the characters "rest on", to the top of the plate. The height of the character can never exceed the baseline measurement.

Beveler: Tool bit with cutter angle (usually 30 degrees or 45 degrees) to create deep incised cutting for a beveled look. Also, the accessory machine used to create beveled edges on badges, signs, etc.

Beveling: Engraving/cutting that removes material to leave wide, V-shaped troughs with sharply angled bottoms and ends.

Bezier Curve: In computer graphics, a line segment where the angle deflection is mathematically estimated. Bezier segments usually feature movable control points (which see) that allow nearly unlimited alteration of the segment to a variety of angles.

Bitmap: Refers to images made of a collection of monochrome or multi-colored pixels, or dots, for displaying or printing.

Bounding Box: The area of an on-screen image, in computer graphics, at its maximum X and Y axes measurements. Altering the bounding box by moving its control points can change the shape or size of an image. Bounding boxes allows scaling of all graphics images in PostScript (which see) file types.

Braille (Grades 1 & 2): Tactile-symbol system enabling visually-impaired and unsighted people to read and write. Named after Louis Braille, an unsighted 19th-century French teacher who devised it. Grade 1 involves a character-by-character translation of printed material; Grade 2 uses special contractions (much like the phonetic parts of speech) for messages. Grade 2 is required by legislation such as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Brass: A semi-soft alloy of copper and zinc, it is a very popular material for trophy engraving. Often painted with a thin layer of color, the color layer can be burnished or diamond drag can be used to remove the coating and let the brass show through.

Burnish: To polish by rubbing.

Burnisher: Tool used with rotary engraving systems to remove top level of coated metals or for engraving on glass. Works on the same principle as diamond drag, but with rotating tool and light pressure. May be carbide or diamond tipped.

Calligraphy: The art of beautiful handwriting often used to letter award certificates.

Cap Layers: Laminated top piece in materials with multi-ply layers. See two-ply.

Carbide: An extremely hard, wear-resistant metal made from tungsten and carbon, used in the manufacture of cutting tools.

CGM: Computer Graphics Metafile. A file type associated with IBM-type computers; can often be imported into engraving programs.

Climb Cutting and Conventional Cutting: When cutting material using a fluted bit, the bit usually rotates clockwise. When the clockwise-rotating bit cuts an outline on an object using a counter-clockwise path, the teeth bite the material without rubbing against it—as it would if it was running clockwise. This is called climb cutting; the teeth look like they are climbing into the material edge. The opposite of climb cutting is conventional cutting. Using climb cutting can help extend the life of your cutters.

CNC: Communications language used in some robotics and larger machine-controlled cutting devices such as industrial mills and lathes.

Collet: Device used to hold engraving tools at the bottom of the spindle. Can prevent tool drift and shake due to vibration; particularly effective when using a rotary spindle to work with harder substrates, such as stainless steel.

Column, Trophy: A generic term used to describe the central vertical component of a trophy.

Columnar Copy: The arrangement of award copy such as a list of names into a column and row fashion.

Columnizing: Software feature allowing the automatic creation of text columns.

Condense: Fitting text to a specified measurement of length in a line. Action may require the equal reduction of space between characters (see kerning) and width reduction in characters.

Contrasting Cutter: Tool bit with a formed, nosecone-like end for cutting
deeper paths; usually used for glass engraving.

Control Point: In computer graphics, a connection between two line/arc segments or a selectable handle on a bounding box. Moving a control point changes the shape of an object, altering a line path, shape or size.

Coordinate: A point that can be referenced by its position on the X, Y, or Z axes of an engraver or router. The use of line or arc segments to connect coordinates creates tool paths that form the lines of an image.

Corian®: Trade name for synthetic stone (which see).

Corner Rounder: A small piece of equipment that rounds or notches the corners of an engraving plate. Some models allow the punching of a hole in conjunction with the notch or corner. Less expensive models work with plastic only, while more expensive models will work with plastic and metal.

Cutout: Action of engraving tool going completely through substrate and separating into pieces. Most often used for cutting apart multiple jobs that were engraved on one substrate or for cut-out letters (for signage such as ADA). (See step-and-repeat).

Cutter Grinder: A piece of equipment used to sharpen or tip-off engraving cutters.

Cutter Knob: Knurled holder for engraving tool bits. Nearly always brass; screws into the top of the spindle in a counter-clockwise motion. The cutter is held in place by a setscrew.

Cutting Fluids: A fluid added during the rotary engraving process that lubricates the work surface and cutting tool to make it possible to achieve higher cutting speeds; greater depths of cut, lengthen tool life and decrease surface roughness.

Depth Nose: Cone on bottom end of spindle to regulate extent of engraving depth. Often used for engraving irregular surfaces. Can also be protective cone to prevent marking of substrate by spindle.

Descenders: A term used to describe some upper or lower case letters such as g, j or y where part of the letter may appear or be engraved below the baseline.

Diamond Drag: Action of using a non-rotating cone-shaped tool dragged with pressure through metal leaving an impression to form characters, logos, etc. Tool includes diamond tip for sharpness and greater longevity.

Diamond Graver: A non-rotating diamond tool consisting of a steel shank with an embedded diamond chip.

Die: Outline pattern of characters or logos; most often used with a pantograph.

Drag: See Diamond Drag.

DXF: AutoCAD Exchange Format; computer file type showing images as vectors. Associated with IBM-type and some Macintosh computer programs; can be imported into a variety of engraving programs. There are separate 2D and 3D DXF formats.

End Mill: Tool with a drill-like end to cut into harder metallic materials; also can drill holes directly into substrate along the Z-axis. Generally used in machining applications.

Engraving: The art or technique of carving, cutting or etching into a material.

EPROM: Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory; computer chip programmed with certain information, such as fonts and logos. Chips retain information until erased by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Often used by older proprietary engraving systems.

EPS: Encapsulated PostScript®: computer file type used widely for graphics with IBM-type and Macintosh computers. Accurate in storing vectors of images; often be imported into engraving programs. Easily the most-popular file format for generally available computer clip art.

Extrusion: A part that's created by forcing a raw material through a die to create the desired shape.

Feed Rate: The rate of speed at which the tool bit travels through substrates. Feed rate can affect quality of cuts of different materials.

Filename Extensions: In DOS- and Windows-based software, the three letters after the period (or "dot") in a file name. With graphics files, the three letters denote a file type, such as the vector- and bit map based Encapsulated PostScript (EPS); the vector-based Dynamic Exchange Format (DXF), Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language or Gerber-based files (PLT), Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) and Windows Metafile (WMF); and the bitmap-based PhotoPaint (PCX) and Tagged Image File Format (TIF).

Fill Angle: Adjustment of fills (which see) to vary from plain 0 degrees horizontal or 90 degrees vertical; can create fewer tool paths in removing material.

Filling: Color decorating of engraved areas, usually by acrylic-based material.

Fills: Tool-path directions and methods for traveling through substrate to remove, or rout, material. Sweep or hatch fills remove material in consecutive, side-by-side lines; spiral fills trace the edge of area of material to be removed, then work inward to center in one path; island fills trace the edge, and then work inward in separate, concentric paths.

First Cut & Second Cut: First cut is the first cut made in double-cutting the first pass. Second cut is the second or final pass in double cutting. Cutting in two passes allows the bits to cut better, last longer, and provide higher quality products.

Font: A set of characters in a typeface, such as Helvetica, Times, Optima, or Palatino. Most sets consist of upper and lowercase letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and extended characters.

Fountainhead®: Tradename for a type of synthetic stone.

Gantry: Bridge on which the engraving spindle assembly travels with certain types of engravers. Spindle usually travels along the length of the gantry for X-axis movement. Gantry may also be mounted on rails for movement along the Y-axis; with other engraving tables, gantry is stationary and the engraving table itself moves along the Y-axis.

Hand Engraving: The process of engraving using hand held tools.

Home: The position to which the machine goes to at the start of engraving, consisting of an X/Y position on the engraving surface (usually one corner) and a Z position above the table surface.

HPGL: Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language; communication method between computer and an output device for drawing or cutting vectors of lines and arcs to create images. This is the most popular method for communicating with vinyl plotters and is widely used in engraving.

Italicization: Software feature allowing text to be skewed left or right at a specific angle, giving an effect similar to a true italic font.

Jig: Form or vice for holding non-flat irregular- shaped objects for engraving. Jigs can be created in a wide variety of shapes, designed to hold cylindrical objects, items with various surface levels, etc.

Justification: Software feature that permits text to be aligned to the left margin, right margin, or centered.

Kerning: Space between characters in a line of text. Spacing is varied to compensate for shapes of letters, making for easier reading. Specific spacing between two specific characters is called a kerning pair. See condense.

Lacquer Stick: A color filling device that is similar to a crayon used to add color to an engraved area.

Laser Engraver: Device using directed, amplified beam of light to cut and mark material. Laser engravers generally use one of two technologies; carbon-dioxide CO2 gas-based or Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) type lasers. Both will work with a variety of engravables, including glass, acrylic, phenolic and coated metals. YAG lasers can also perform deeper engraving and cutting of metals. The power of a laser engraver is measured in watts.

Lathe Engraver: Machine using cylinder to hold substrate and control Y-axis movement.

Lead Screw: A lead screw is a long threaded screw connected to a stepper motor that provides X, Y, or Z-axis motions.

Leading: Space between lines of text. Often expressed as a percentage of the vertical height of characters, it separates two baselines in text. For example, leading between two lines of 1" high characters, where baselines are 1 1/4" apart, is 125 percent. This means you have a 25 percent space between your lines, adding readability to your text.

Logo: Artistic image rendered for use in an engraving program. Can be any symbol, shape, character, or company trademark. The image must be contained in a vector format for engraving.

Long Plate: Software feature that allows engraving on substrates larger than the production area.

Margins: The distance from the edge of the engraving plate or imaginary point to the edge of the area allocated for text or copy.

Marquee: In computer graphics, the process of using a mouse-driven cursor to draw a rectangle around an on-screen object, therefore selecting it for further work. Also called highlighting in some software.

Mask: Self-adhesive material used for sandblasting; made of thick (10 mil. or better) but flexible medium for cutting patterns and placing directly on substrate to be sandblasted. Can be cut by computer-controlled plotters with a knife head.

Math Coprocessor: A computer chip that performs floating-point division, where decimal points are removed before calculation and inserted after computation. In computer graphics, the use of a math coprocessor speeds up calculations when performing a number of functions, cutting response times by up to 90 percent. IBM-compatible computers with 80486DX or Pentium microprocessors have a coprocessor included in the main processing chip. So do Macintosh computers with PowerPC microprocessors; standard Macintosh computers and IBM-types with SX or 80386 (or older) microprocessors need separate math co-processing chips. Also called a floating-point unit (FPU) chip with Macintoshes.

Melamine: See phenolic.

Micro Surfaced: A plastic engraving material with a cap, or top layer, around 1 to 2 thousandths of an inch, compared to a standard cap depth or ten thousandths of an inch or greater. The cap is foil material applied through a heat process, similar to hot stamping.

Micrometer: Adjustment gauge near nose of engraving spindle. Allows for precise alignment of cutting tool depth for engraving, usually in .001" increments. (1 revolution = .025")

Microprocessor: The main computing, or "thinking," chip in a computer. IBM-compatibles have microprocessors made mainly by Intel Corp. following a progressively more-powerful numbering scheme (80386, 80486) or a name, as with Intel's currently top-speed Pentium chip. Macintoshes use either a number-based Motorola Corp. chip (68030, 68040) or the newer, top-speed PowerPC. Computing speed is measured in megahertz (MHz); in most cases, the bigger the MHz number for a certain type of chip, the faster the chip and the computer.

Mirror: Reversal of images along the horizontal axis. Done mainly for reverse engraving where dark material is removed from the back of the engraved material, allowing light to shine through to the surface of the clear material.

Monogram: A stylized arrangement of initials (usually 3), often using two different character sizes without periods. In monograms the first name initial is placed first, followed by the last name initial usually made larger, followed by the middle initial made the same size as the first character.

Multi-Processing: Software feature allowing multiple jobs to be in memory. This may also permit engraving and working on a job at the same time.

Node: Connection point of line segments in an on-screen image. Selecting nodes with a mouse cursor enables a user to move the node and change an image's shape, or change the node's properties (breaking a line segment, changing a line to a curve, etc.) Also called a control point in some sign software.

Nose Insert: See depth nose.

Nose Riding and Non-Nose Riding: Nose riding utilizes a spring pressing the nosecone down onto the surface of the material, and the nose will gently touch the material surface throughout the engraving process. By riding the nose against the material, it is simple to keep the cutter in the material at an exact depth, even if the material is not completely flat. Non-nose riding does not use the nosecone to regulate depth, and can lead to a variable depth of cut, depending on how flat your material is.

Offset: Distance that engraving hardware/software will move a point of a tool to compensate for the tool's cutting action. Movement ensures accuracy of images; for example, if tool cuts a 1/4" swath, offset would be 1/8". Offsets can also be used to remove material inside or outside the shape of an object. Offsets noted as online actually provide no offset.

Ogee: In computer graphics, a distortion of an image using an S-shaped curve as one baseline, giving an image a "wave" look.

Origin: Point at which engraving starts, or starting point of engraving area. Includes the 0 points of X and Y axes. Can be found at the upper-left corner of engraving area, or rarely, at the center of the engraving table.

Ornamental: A decorative design or artwork element used when engraving or lettering awards and gifts. Adds interest or emphasizes and balances a layout.

Ortho: Zero (0) degrees horizontal; a command included in design software to set an image to a "perfect" horizontal level.

Outgas: The characteristic of a solid or liquid to vaporize under heat. Outgassing can occur in some plastics and paints if they are not through drying, resulting in adhesive failure to anything applied over them.

Outline/Inline: In computer graphics, a closed-loop path that copies an original's shape, but is offset by a positive measurement outside the original (outline), or a negative measurement inside the original (inline).

Overage: Material cut too big to allow for "hold-down" clamps, waste.

Oxidizing: Process of using an acid oxidation solution to blacken the engraved areas on a metal plate to provide contrast.

Paint Filling: Color decorating of engraved areas, usually by acrylic based paints. Most commonly used on reverse engraved plastics or panels.

Pantograph: Manual engraving machine allowing for tracing along dies or patterns with non-engraving stylus; stylus connected by arm mechanism to engraving spindle for creating a duplicate image of die/pattern. Adjustment of mechanism allows for engraving enlargement/ reduction from size of the pattern or die.

Parallel Cutter: Tool bit with head to create square, uniform trough while cutting. Produces a 90 degree sidewall.

Pass (Single/Multiple): Route of travel of engraving tool across or into substrate. Single pass is one trip; multiple pass along same route path can increase depth of cut and clean-up burrs, uneven surfaces, and create sharper edges.

Perpetual: Plaque designed for additions of individual recognition plates in rows and columns; usually installed at a facility, with plates added to denote annual winners or achievers, or memoriums.

Phenolic: Heat- and chemical-resistant plastic engraving substrate. Hard, tough material; usually needs carbide tools for cutting/engraving. Also known as melamine.

Pictogram: A pictorial symbol commonly found in environmental graphics and regulatory (traffic) signs.

Plate: Individual piece of material to be engraved. Also used as term for defined work area in several engraving-software packages.

Plotter: Device that interprets information sent from a computer and moves a tool head to a series of coordinates based on the device's X and Y axes. Sign making uses a plotter equipped with a knife to cut vinyl, with the X and Y coordinates forming an outline that can be weeded and installed on a surface. Sign-cutting plotters can be flatbed, where the knife-head is in a mobile gantry that moves to X and Y points; or drum, where the material is moved to find X coordinates and the knife head moves to Y points along a stationary gantry.

Ports: Computer gateways where information is sent to a device connected to the computer by a cable. IBM-type machines use parallel ports, where multiple pieces of information are sent to a device such as a laser printer, and serial ports, where information is sent in a single stream of data to a device. Macintosh ports are really serial ports, but cables are different from IBM type machines.

PostScript®: Graphics language that allows for proportional scaling of images. It's what makes most scalable type and artwork possible for most Windows- and Macintosh-based graphics software.

Production Area: Space on an engraving table where the engraving tool can touch the substrate and engrave. Some engraving tables may have non-production areas (or margins) for setting of clamps, etc. Also called engravable area or usable area.

Profiling: Cutting out the shape (or profile) of a piece of material. The most common example of profiling is cutting out name badges in the shape of a logo.

Radius Cutter: Tool bit with rounded head. Often used for single-line font marking and reverse engraving.

Radius: Measurement of one-half of diameter of circle; for engraving, sets severity of curve when putting text along arc baseline.

RAM: Random Access Memory. Computer chips that act as an electronic storage area for quick access of programs and images.

Raster: Dot-like computer image designed to display on computer screens and be printed in ink. Collections of dots make up raster images, which do not have vector outlines, and therefore cannot be for engraved without vectorizing. A computer scanner creates raster images, as well as most paint-type computer programs. Also called Bitmap images, and in printing are called halftones. See Scanning and Vectorization. Raster is also the name given to the small plastic balls that are inserted into drilled holes on ADA signs to produce raised Braille letters for the blind.

Rosettes: Rounded ornaments with construction of elements in petal-like fashion.

Rout: Digging into substrate by tool head to remove material. Usually involves removal of material in large areas (also called clean out, roughing out, and hog out), often leaving only raised character and logo images.

Sacrificial Sheet: Material is placed between table and the substrate being cut. Sacrificial prevents accidental engraving into the table by providing a margin for error, as well as allowing better edges when cutting out shapes.

Sandblasting: A method for decorating glass or wood. A rubberized stencil of the artwork is either hand- or computer-cut and applied to the substrate, which is then sprayed with a pressurized stream of sand or synthetic particles to texture the areas unprotected by the stencil. Once the desired depth has been achieved on the item being blasted, the stencil is removed, and, if on wood, the surfaces may be painted.

Scanner: Optical device that senses different levels of reflections of light and transfers that information into numeric formulas that can be read by a computer and replicated on a screen or printed.

Scanning: Process of capturing an already printed image with an optical device called a scanner, and then transferring the information into a raster, or bitmap, image for computer storage and use by a graphics program. See raster.

Script: A type face or letter style consisting of curving lines and designed so as to simulate human handwriting.

Second Surface: Material under a laminated or extruded top layer; as top is engraved or routed, second surface (usually a contrasting or complementary color) is exposed. Also, the process of marking a clear substrate with a mirrored (reverse) image and mounting a substrate with unmarked surface facing out. See mirror.

Serialization: Software-controlled process of using step-and-repeat to create sequential engraved materials with slightly different information on each. Some examples include room numbers and sequential serial number. See step-and-repeat.

Shear: A machine that cuts various materials through the closure of two blades.

Sintered Cutter: Tool bit with formed, nosecone-like end for cutting deeper paths; usually used for glass engraving.

Sounding Block: Accessory that is struck with gavel to make noise.
Part of a gavel set.

Space, Negative/Positive: Graphic term for layouts; positive space involves area occupied by characters, logos or other artwork, while negative space is area left blank. Negative space also called white space.

Speed and Delay: Software options allowing for specific control of engraving speeds in X, Y and Z-axes. Delay is generally reserved for the time it takes the Z-axis from a down stroke command to complete plunging. Long delays allow for cutter rpm to regain max speed after plunging. Also reduces cutter breakage and wear.

Spindle: Device that holds the cutters during the engraving process. Consisting of a pulley, shaft, micrometer, and a nosecone. The cutter is inserted into the spindle, the engraver holds the spindle and (in rotary engraving) a belt rotates the pulley, rotating the cutter contained within while the rest of the spindle is moved by the engraver to produce engraved characters.

Spool: Process where the computer takes files being sent to output devices, such as an engraver, and puts it in electronic queue, or waiting area, to be produced in turn. File is transferred from main production into the background, allowing the program to handle working on another file. See multiprocessing.

Step-and-Repeat: Action where engraving tool completes a job and moves to a new starting point (step), and then duplicates the job (repeat). If controlled by software, function usually also calculates the number of step-and-repeats possible for the sheet of substrate being used, as well as counting the number of step and repeats performed. See serialization.

Sublimation: Process where an image is printed by turning ink or toner, by heat and pressure, into a gas, which then impregnates itself into a substrate or a special coating on a substrate. Sublimation most often done in awards/recognition industry by printing a transfer, using a laser printer
and special sublimation toners.

Sublines: Software feature that allows a change in a line of text without creating a new line. Possible subline changes include font styles, baselines, character condensation, line height, italicization, or logo insertion.

Synthetic Stone: Man-made material with a finish to simulate the feel and look of natural decorative surfaces such as marble. Familiar trade names include Corian® and Fountainhead®.

System Defaults: Software productivity tool that allows presetting of most
common parameters. Parameters can include English/Metric measuring, plate size, pre-loaded fonts and other common options.

T-slot: Channels in engraving-table surface that hold special clamps for holding down substrates. T-clamp goes into slot like upside-down "T".

Table: Surface on engraving machine where substrate is placed for engraving. Can refer to entire surface, or only to area where engraving tool can work (see production area). Tables can be stationary, or move along the Y axis. See gantry.

Thompson Rail: Metal shaft on which engraving machine's gantry or engraving table moves. Rail construction and design for holding gantry allows for less vibration and more-accurate work. See table and gantry.

Tool Direction: Course that tool takes in a job. Since tool bit's actual rotary spin is clockwise, direction that the spindle travels can be set to clockwise or counter-clockwise for type of cut (with or against the bit's spin) desired. See climb cutting and conventional cutting.

Tool In/Out: Position and speed at which tool enters substrate. Control of variables such as placement and velocity of the Z-axis movement of tool into material can affect accuracy of tool path and vibration, especially with harder substrates.

Top-loading Spindle: Tool holder on engraver where shank with bit is affixed with a cutter knob (which see) and then screwed into the spindle.

Two-ply and Three-ply: Substrate with thin top layers of contrasting
colors. As top surface is removed, substrates of different colors are exposed, giving look of fill. Two-ply denotes one different-colored layer on a substrate; three-ply notes two different colors. Some three-ply substrates have only the core as a different color, so the only way for an observer to see the core color is to look at the engraved area.

Typeface: A family of fonts that define the overall similarity of the style. Typefaces (typeface families) include all fonts of a specific design and identifying name, such as Helvetica, Times, Garamond, Univers, Futura, etc. Fonts commonly included in a typeface are the original book-weight or designed weight, a bold version, italic version, and may also include light, medium, extra-bold or single-line versions. Single line, double-line or any line quantity variant of a typeface still fall into the same typeface family as the original.

Vacuum Pump: Device that creates vacuum in a small chamber. Since air always attempts to create an even pressure, the air intake is connected to devices such as vacuum tables, and the air must move towards the vacuum chamber. Sometimes vacuums are connected to chip-removal systems.

Vacuum Table: Surface where hold-down of substrate for engraving is done by air suction, as opposed to clamping or using a T-slot table. Suction is usually provided by a vacuum pump.

Vector: Line designated by beginning and end X-Y coordinates. Combinations of vectors make up the images understood by output devices such as engraving tables, vinyl-cutting plotters, etc.

Vectorization: Process of taking raster based images and drawing (or automatically tracing) outlines closely conforming to the shapes of those images. Outlines become vector-based images and, for engraving, tool paths. Vectorization is the process used for taking images brought into a computer through scanning and making such art engravable.

WMF: Windows MetaFile. File type that uses vectors to store and represent images; can be imported and used by some engraving programs.

Zeroing the Cutter: Method of setting the starting point of the micrometer ring to allow accurate depth adjustment.

Z-Home: Perpendicular position on the Z-axis that engraving tool returns to after finishing any engraving action in a job. Setting Z-home for particular job and substrate often called zero out.

Z-Rest: Starting or home position of cutting tool along Z-axis

Z-Stroke: Amount of distance tool can travel in up-and-down (perpendicular) direction along Z-axis.

The engraving machines from Gravograph that can be used for trophy engraving include: [links to pages]

IS 6000/7000/8000
IS 6000/7000/8000XP

The supplies and accessories that Gravograph sells include:

Gravoply™ Ultra
Gravolase Metallics
Gravobrass Premium
Gravobrass Exterior
Colored Aluminum
Trophy Brass
Colored Steel
Marbled Steel

Contact Us

To find out more about Gravograph, or if you have any questions or comments about trophy engraving machines, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Trophy engraving
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Rotary Engraving Machines
Laser Engraving Machines


Which Gravograph product
 lines for Trophies?
For trophy plates, plaques
& coats of arms:
Engraving Product: Gravolase® Metallics
Gravolase® Metallics
Engraving Product: GravoPly™ Laser
GravoPly™ Laser
Engraving Product: Flexilase™
Engraving Product: GravoPly™ 2
GravoPly™ 2
Engraving Product: Metallex
Engraving Product: GravoPly™ Ultra
GravoPly™ Ultra
Engraving Product: Gravometall
Engraving Product: Trophy Brass
Trophy Brass
For trophy design:
For trophy design: Acrylic
Colouring supplies:
Colouring supplies: Gravoxide, Aloxide, Gravolaque, Nitrolaque
Gravoxide, Aloxide, Gravolaque, Nitrolaque


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Gravotech, Inc.
2200 Northmont Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096, USA
Toll Free Tel: 1-800-843-7637 - Tel: 770-623-0331
Fax: 770.495.3676

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