In this application example, St. Paul Engraving utilized our laser 1000 to laser texture a custom designed pattern into a firearms mold. We also used our render and design software to help create and edit this pattern to work within the mold design and draft requirements for proper function and ascetic appeal. This project required interchangeable back straps which presented unique challenges as the two different sized back straps needed to match up cleanly with the mold cavity texture. This project also required attention to detail to ensure the mold could function properly with such an aggressive geometric pattern.
First we helped with the design of the custom pattern. Being a completely digital process we are able to edit, render and sample the pattern before we laser texture the mold components. This allows us the opportunity to adjust the pattern to align along features and straight edges. Taking into consideration the interchangeable back straps and draft requirements this process was critical to ensure the mold could be parted cleanly and provide a seamless match at the parting lines.
We then began applying the approved pattern to the mold components. This project required blending to various depths and removal of certain pattern features to ensure function and quality of the finished part. Our lasers work off of gray scale patterns. Each level of gray from white to black makes up the varying depths. This creates the pattern and allows us to blend by changing the occupancy or transparency of the pattern as needed to meet draft requirements. At this point, we are ready to laser texture the rendered pattern into the mold cavity.
Due to the complexity of this project and the detail of the 3D pattern this would not have been possible with traditional chemical etching. Laser texturing makes creating new custom patterns easier than ever and ready for the next generation of design.