Accugrave is the patented Mold-Tech process used to chemically engrave logos, intricate designs, part numbers and extensive copy or graphics into mold surfaces regardless of mold size, shape or hardness. Accugrave is an excellent solution for contoured surfaces, for deep and hard to reach areas and for critical surfaces near parting lines, ribs or bosses. The process can be very cost effective for the difficult engraving applications described above, as well as, for molds with multiple inserts.
The process requires "camera ready" artwork. If you do not have the availability of "camera ready" artwork, we have artists on staff who can draw the art or copy it from a business card, sketch, print, or whatever is available. In some cases, the artwork can be developed before the tool arrives for processing.
If the surface to be Accugraved is a compound curve, (where the curvature is in more than one direction), the artwork will need to be adjusted to follow the contour to attain the desired look. This particular type of artwork is complex, so a sample cavity or cast of a cavity may be required to help fit the artwork onto the shape of the surface of the mold , before the mold arrives.
We keep all artwork we develop on file so repeatability is possible.
DEPTH AND CLARITY OF ACCUGRAVE®
The achievable depth of the Accugrave process varies depending on the size, boldness and intricacy of the graphics being Accugraved, as well as the type and hardness of the steel. If you¡¯ll inspect our Accugrave plaque, there are samples of all types of artwork at various depths. The maximum depth that can be achieved in Accugrave is approximately .015" with bold type or artwork. Deeper etches are possible, but there are certain limitations to the clarity of the final artwork result that would need to be discussed beforehand. There are few applications we encounter where a depth of over .015" deep is required.
On the Accugrave plaque, there is a section called "Copyguide" which shows a series of type sizes that are etched to the maximum recommended depth for those type styles and sizes. They are :
6 point @ .001" deep.
8 point @ .002" deep.
10 point @ .003" deep.
14 point @ .004" deep.
18 point @ .005" deep.
24 point @ .006" deep.
These are recommended depths only. As you can see on the plaque, these are all quite visible on the part. We can sometimes go deeper, but this should be discussed, since minute changes in the appearance of the artwork can take place as we attempt to deepen the etch. Keep draft considerations in mind as they also apply to Accugrave.
We have developed methods for Accugraving part numbers, etc. on multi-level areas such as flutes for automotive lenses, and continue to refine and broaden the use of Accugrave in molds.
Accugrave costs are very reasonable compared to the other methods of engraving graphics into molds. We are especially competitive on hardened steels, compound curves or on graphics with a large number of characters needing reproduction. Artwork costs are comparable to or better than most commercial artists.
EMBOSSING VERSUS DEBOSSING
Most of the Accugrave requested of us is engraved into the mold which makes the Accugrave stand up in the part. We refer to this as "embossed" and an example is found on the Accugrave plaque. In the few cases where you want the actual artwork to remain as original surface and etch the area surrounding the artwork, this is referred to as "debossed". There is an example of this on the Accugrave plaque.
The artwork goes into most molds in reverse - or mirror imaged - so that the copy is readable on the part. There are a few exceptions, however, so it is best to clarify that for us on each job. For example, in a situation where the Accugrave is on the core surface of a part being molded in clear plastic, and you want consumers to read the copy from the front of the part or through the cavity surface, you would require the Accugrave to be "readable" in the steel.
As usual, we are always ready to provide you with technical support and quotations for all Accugrave needs. Perhaps there are applications for this inexpensive alternative to mechanical engraving or EDM burning that you have now. Please give us a call or fax us your graphics for a quotation.