This is not a particularly original technique, but I’ve applied it in some ways that generate interest, so I’m writing it up here.
As an art project, I wanted to do a series of plaques with literary themes - specifically, great first and last lines from novels. I played with 3D Engrave, but it wasn’t creating the effect I was looking for. I tried some things with a base layer and cut letters glued on top, but didn’t want to comprehend the hell of alignment that would bring.
For another project, I was researching kerf and the thought struck me: I can use the standard SD Engrave to create a “trough” for my to-be-set letters if I make a pass on the first layer after expanding my text’s path by a point (I use Illustrator).
The experiment bore fruit immediately.
I worked out a format that included a frame etched and cut in the same manner.
and some with other graphical elements:
People seem to like the look and I’ve been able to sell a few on Etsy.