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The Complete Guide To Glass Laser Engraving and Etching Machines

Thinking about expanding your glass engraving and etching capabilities?  Thunder Laser machines are complete workhorses when it comes to etching and engraving glass. Adding artistic flair and craftsmanship to a variety of glass products becomes a simple endeavor through easy to use design software and easy machine controls.

Glass etching is commonly used on promotional giveaways and personalized products for events, weddings, and many other commemorative occasions.

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Glass products continue to be one of the most sought after products in the laser engraving and etching industry.
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What Kind Of Items Can You Etch Or Engrave With A Laser Machine? 

Glass laser engraving can work on a surprising number of products thanks to the versatile rotary axis attachment. The Thunder Laser CO2 laser machines would be our ideal recommendation for all kinds of glass engraving.  There is a small learning curve to becoming an expert at glass etching. We provide everything you need and will provide the support necessary to get you started with glass engraving.  By applying unique laser engraving techniques, many different glass objects can be engraved and transformed into unique works of art.

  • Mirror products (mirrors, glass windows, glass panels, glass doors, glass shower screens)
  • Wine glasses
  • Glass beer mugs
  • Champagne flutes
  • Wine bottles
  • Glass Plates
  • Drinking glasses
  • Decorative pieces made from glass, crystal and hand-blow

Using A Thunder Laser Machine

For Your Next Glass Engraving Project

How Does Laser Glass Engraving Work?

A variety of laser engraving techniques can be used to produce creative designs on glass and mirror products. Here’s a list of commonly applied techniques:

  • Dampened paper towel 
  • An excellent technique that can be applied to glass engraving is the use of a dampened paper towel. How it works? First, dampen a paper towel and place over your glass surface. Second, ensure no air bubbles are formed after placing the dampened paper towel. Third, once you have confirmed there is no presence of air bubbles on the glass material, you can begin the laser engraving process. This process will ensure a clear white engraving result without rough edges.

  • Application tape

    Another technique used for laser engraving is application tape to prevent the development of rough surfaces where the glass is being engraved.  Similar to the function of dampened paper towel, application tape can also prevent air bubbles formation or overlaps. The major difference between the dampened paper towel versus the application tape methods, is that the application tape will result in a more grayish result as opposed to the white engraving result.

  • Engraving without use of materials (dampened paper or application tape)

    The laser engraver can still work on any glass or mirror product without either of the above mentioned methods. The final outcome of engraved glass will be highly dependent on your design file and the laser machine settings.  Consult with one of our experts regarding your project to determine what would be a good starting point based on your desired results.

Laser Engraving With Different Types Of Glass

A critical part of any glass laser engraving project, is properly identify the type of glass you have to work with. For example, anything made from crystal is not recommended. Why? Crystal composition has larger amount of lead. Lead is known to hold the heat coming from the laser, which makes it hard to create uniformed design on the glass or mirror product. However, if you really need to work on crystal, series of tests should be performed until you get the correct setting. With that being said, just know that the results can vary.

Engraving speed

The ideal engraving speed for glass can be a bit of an experiment based on the exact glass composition and item shape.  Another practice that will have a huge impact on the result of an engraved product is the level of engraving speed. If you are working on large quantity of glass bottles, the ideal engraving speed to minimize discrepancies on the outcome is to set the laser engraving machine speed at medium along with the high power setting.

Lower DPI

When we talk about lower DPI, this refers to the resolution like 300 dots per inch. Lower DPI produces a better outcome on glass material, plus reduce issue of rough engraved glass.

Masking

This practice is only optional and may not affect the outcome of the engraved glass or mirror product. However, if you prefer applying masking on your laser engraving project the material you will need is wet paper towel or wet sheet of old newspaper. Masking prevents heat dissipation (reduction in heat temperature) that could lead to glass chipping or creating uneven surfaces. When using masking, see to it the wet paper towel or newspaper stays flat on the glass surface. 

Polishing

Among the common practices that laser engravers apply in most of their laser glass engraving projects is polishing. The polishing agent that can be used is ScotchBrite pad or anything similar. Polishing will remove all traces of glass fragments left of glass surface. 

Glass products, when engraved with the Thunder Laser CO2 laser engravers can produce unique pieces of artwork. Whatever your needs are in terms of glass engraving, the Thunder Laser machine would be a perfect tool for your next project.  We stand by our laser engravers ability to produce outstanding results.

In the event you want to start a laser engraving business or expand your project capabilities, consider investing in a Thunder Laser System.  Our team is always ready to provide expert laser advice on the best laser model to suit your specific needs.

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