Every different type of material used in creating 3D trophies has its own specific requirement in terms of design and treatment. Likewise, every material also has its own strengths and weaknesses that must be considered, depending on the desired final output. The following are just some of the most popular materials used in this field of business.
The cheapest material used when crafting 3D trophies, plastic also beats other materials in terms of flexibility, versatility and availability. What's more, there are recent developments that make it possible for this material to withstand exposure to the elements, whether the pieces are displayed indoors or outdoors. Plastic also comes in a variety of attractive textures and surface finishes-for example, some mimic real wood, while others are designed to look like stone or granite (without the accompanying high price tag). It is important to note that different textures have their specific uses. Glossy plastic, for example, is used when a high-class finish is needed to enhance the attractiveness of the final output; whereas plastic with a matte finish is most often used in situations in which glare must be reduced or when the final product will be exposed to scratch-prone usage-this type of finish can hide the damage. Textured plastic is often used in signs or badges or other surfaces where there is a high risk of corrosion.
Crystal and Glass
Crystal and glass obviously have the distinct advantage of looking fantastic; 3D trophies made using crystal, for instance, exude a sense of style and sophistication. Like those of plastic, suppliers of these types of materials are abundant, and this fierce competition further drives down prices. You can purchase flat glass engraving blanks, which are often pre-polished (depending on your request) and may be accompanied with functional and appealing bases (perfect for awards or plaques). If you choose to specialise in crystal and glass you should keep an eye on local suppliers-often, companies that supply restaurant tools, bar ware and other equipment also supply inexpensive crystal and glass you can use for etching.
There are many different metals used when creating 3D trophies and each has its own special set of qualities and defects. For example, aluminium is often used in creating machine control panels, signage (for interior and exterior installation) and other industrial usage. It is rare to master the art of working with aluminium in one sitting, so you should expect some experimentation and trial-and-error practice sessions until you become proficient. Another common metal alloy is brass (of the softer type), which can also be used in etching. It pays to remember, though, that working with metals can be tricky; every different type - from aluminium, to copper to brass to gold - has its own 'temperament' and level of workability, but the durability and beauty of the final output is worth the effort.
George Berdichevsky is the Founder of 3Design Center, which designs image files to be used in engraving machines for 3D trophies. His team of talented artists can create bespoke images suitable for 3D trophies from any idea or image. Visit the website for more information.