Artists who are skilled at delicate and detailed hand engraving now have some steep competition – a Spanish machine builder. With increased demands for quality engravings on products from jewelry to cell phones, Artesà of Barcelona, Spain, has developed a machine capable of mimicking the craftsmanship of hand engraving. A DMC-2143 4-axis motion controller from Galil Motion Control, Rocklin, Calif., guides the machine’s precision movements.

“The Artesà machine has the ability to reproduce a high quality ‘hand like’ engraving. With the help of the Galil motion controller, it can reproduce engravings identically,” says Leondardo Di Benedetto, the Artesà machine developer. “In the hand engraving work, the artisan performs a downward and upward movement with the chisel each time a cut is made in the surface of the object being engraved. The Artesà's engraved line has a curvilinear or open polygonal trajectory in the vertical plane achieved with non-rotating cutting tools, which give the brightness and beauty characteristic of these engravings.”

The Artesà consists of a table with a bed frame that firmly holds the material to be engraved. Just above the table is the spindle-mounted, engraving tool head, which includes a laser pointer and three carbide inserts with 35°, 90°, and 135° corner cutting edges. To control the complex and precise X, Y, and Z movements of the Artesà tool head with carbide inserts, Di Benedetto specified the Galil controller, including the SDM-20240 for driving four stepper motors.

In addition to the three degrees of freedom provided by the DMC-2143, it also controls the critical PT (line depth) and SV (vector tracing) axes. The PT axis is designed to gradually move the cutting tool downward on a vertical plane so it can cut into the material to a desired depth doing the descending part of the curve, and then upward to the material surface cutting the ascending part of the curve. The SV axis manages the 360º motion of the cutting tool, making sure the cutting edge always faces in the pre-programmed direction to effectively trace the vector being engraved and do so with a positioning accuracy of 0.004 in./12 in. that is repeatable to 0.0008 in., under no-load conditions.

For more information and to watch a video of the Artesà machine in action, visit Galil Motion Control.