Hi Michael You may be a little surprised at the length of time it
takes to produce a good 3D engraving into metal, vs. the time it
takes to engrave into a wax blank. The problem is the fragile cutter
tip, and the way certain soft metals like gold, silver and aluminum
extrude (proper cutting fluids help drastically). I can engrave wax
at the full speed of the engraving machine, while I use the absolute
slowest cutting speed when carving (or milling, engraving, or
cutting) metal with finely tipped off cutters.
One more point to consider is the acquisition of a good quality
cutter grinder. While a cutter will stay sharp indefinitely when
cutting wax, the point either dulls, chips or breaks rather quickly
when milling metals. You want to have the facility to immediately
resharpen your cutters, or to grind that special cutter for straight
vertical cuts, dove tail cuts, very low angles, etc…
One of the services I have offered for the last 10 years is that of
engraving metal molds for plastic injection, and injecting low
density polythene (for investment casting). You can cast and finish a
good number of jewelry pieces far faster than you can engrave them,
as least where fine 3D detail is concerned.
Maybe I don’t understand exactly what you mean by 3D. Care to
expound a little?