Darkly Labs Community

Emblasering - how small can you go?

I like this building.  I first found out about it from a post on a model railway website that presented it as a bit of a challenge due to the  carvings on its facade. . As an architectural modeller I’d like to be able to model it but that carved facade is pretty daunting…

I got in touch with the guy who had posted the challenge and he generously sent me a high res black and white close up of the facade

I’d always wanted to try 3D engraving of something like this but every forum on the subject had a load of  Negative Nancies saying “You can’t just take a black and white photo and send it to a laser cutter  and hope to engrave it in  3D - you need expensive and complex 3D modeling software”

So I took the black and white photo and sent it to the emblaser hoping to engrave it in 3D, and this happened … (should mention that this is 55mm wide)…

I think its done pretty good. I’ve been a bit down on laserweb but its raster option is  top notch- here it shows that it has cut timber away:

Here is a close up comparison with the original VS the laserweb cut one. For our overseas laser friends  the 5c piece is 18mm in diameter, which highlights the detail that the emblaser has managed to get into the figures clothing, face and hand.


This is Bunnings whitewood 19mm pine, settings are laser raster, laser dimeter .1524mm, cut rate 5mm/sec,select  diagonal, turn off the “Burn White” option and choose ‘Average’ in the greyscale dropdown list,( chosen purely because I don’t  know what any of the other words there mean…)

Way to go, Chris


Wow that is awesome! Did you have to setup the depths of the various cuts, or did laserweb just do that? Also did you have to do a lot of messing with the image in a Photoshop type of application before sending it to laserweb? I cant wait to try something like this myself!

Good news David, just plop that black and white image I’ve posted up there into laserweb resize it to suit (mine is 55mm wide…) , choose a bit of softwood, select laser raster,  use the settings I posted ( 1 pass) and it does it all itself!

I clean it up afterwards with some detergent and a toothbrush to get rid of the soot.

Looks awesome!!! What were your settings? I’ve been playing around and haven’t had something turn out that good yet!

Hi Brendan, settings are at the bottom of the post.

Totally missed that while looking on my phone. Thanks! Nice job again.

Looks great Chris. I like your idea of detergent to clean up. We usually use water and a fine brass brush (looks exactly like a toothbrush except with brass bristles).

I have also been told that white vinegar does a great job at cleaning up, but have yet to try it.

  To make sure that I hadn’t just fluked the 3D cutting thing, I googled “Sculptured wall friezes” or something and picked the first one:


Plugged it straight into Laserweb, had a fiddle with the settings, resized it to 60mm length and hit the go button:


I know this is a bit of a niche use of the emblaser but I’m still amazed at the detail its picking out, eg the bandolier on the kneeling figure.


I’m still trying to figure out how the emblaser/laserweb takes a black and white pic and does this so well! The Emblaser really is an amazing tool…


Now - back to google!




Hi Chris,


Great work!!  How long did these take to engrave?




Hi Steve,

Thanks. The top one was around an hour 40 minutes, the lower one around an hour 15.

Chris J

Just another one… Its still a little damp from washing the soot off. Original found with a google search, into Gimp to beef up the contrast a little, then straight into  laserweb.

I build ship models and the timber carving on the sterns of the old sailing ships was off-putting and a bit scary, but now with the emblaser its just so simple.

Still amazed at the outcome compared to the ease of getting there, and at  the tiny details that the laser can pick out! 

Cheeky cherubs!