6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2009 9:48 AM by Skullmaker

    Using Adobe to create files for tool etching


      We are trying to figure out how to use adobe products to create files that can be used to make textures in tools for etching.  Does anyone have a resource for this or knowledge base?



        • 1. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
          Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

          Can you define what you mean by etching? I am familiar with acid etching and dry point.


          Can you explain what you are referring to?

          • 2. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
            ChevisW Level 1

            Sorry for the lack of information.  This would be for acid etching, we are looking at creating the etching digitaly in order to compete with our competitors, we currently do everything old school (light table, hand).  Thus I am gathering innformation on what software we will need along with equipment, my gut feeling is we should be able to acomplish what we want with the use of Illustrator and Live trace,.  But I am trying to confirm that and also find maybe some printed material that explains the process.


            Chevis W.

            • 3. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
              Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

              I see what you mean like perhaps there are effects you need such as a 

              mezzotint or aquatint. if you can post some samples it might help make 

              it clear.


              Now Live Trace is good but you should enlarge the result and take a 

              look then you should also look at a program like Vector Magic which is 

              a dedicated tracing application.


              then the thing about illustrator it has some tools you might like like 

              creating symbols for repetitive work of simple or complex art, graphic 

              styles which allows you to create an effect or group of effects on an 

              object and apply it in the future to other documents and objects with 

              a click. You can create pattern fills, add transparency to gradients, 

              you can apply effects which are live and can be turned on and off at 

              will, there is the gradient mesh tool which would be very helpful if 

              you are creating Illustrations with surfaces that require tonal 

              variations such as a face or an automobile.


              You can create your own brushes.


              You can mask off areas of the art.

              • 4. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
                Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                I am not too familiar with acid etching, but I would think the same principles would apply as to glass etching with a sand blaster or chemicals. It basically comes down to getting a plotter than can use a knife instead of the pen. The knife would then cut out masking material which sticks to your object where you then apply chemicals or a sand blaster to remove excess material from the object.

                These plotters vary on what software will work with them, but it should be feasible to find a plotter that will work with Illustrator.

                • 5. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                  Well that might be the case with glass but with metal it can be 

                  essentially a photosensitized film material coated to the plate 

                  similar to offset.


                  The developed areas remain and the undeveloped areas a re washed away 

                  the emulsion is protects the plate from the acid bath. Don't put your 

                  hands in the acid it can sting and will definitely cause you health 

                  problems and certain will start to eat it away after a period of time. 

                  Well it depends on what strength the acid is mixed at. It will eat 

                  away glass.


                  I think they use the same acid.


                  You can also use the photomechanical method for Glass as well. I used 

                  the method for signage and an edge lit map.


                  But these guys may have a different bent on this as their procedures 

                  must have an application I would think is different than I might have 

                  used it for myself.


                  And it has been a very long time ago so my memory is not all that good 

                  as well.


                  When ever the process required acid etching you could always charge a 

                  little more because the concept of acid scared everyone.

                  • 6. Re: Using Adobe to create files for tool etching
                    Skullmaker Level 3

                    Hello Chevis,


                    I am extremely busy this week, but by Friday night I will set step by step on how to this.


                    However, what I will need from you is to know how experience are you with illustrator and do you have photoshop?


                    See attachment as sample of what I think you are looking to achieve.




                    If so, you can upload the image that you want me to try.