Tips to laser etch glass with confidence

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Nowadays, laser engraving or laser marking technology is becoming popular among people as well as industrial manufacturers. It is increasingly being adopted by businesses, product designers, and even hobbyists to engrave or mark an object. It is a swift and easy way to personalize objects, like window glass, wine glasses, beer mugs, vases, or bottles, without using ink.

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The laser engraving process involves striking the glass object with the laser which creates a frosted effect. The technology is widely adopted by the glass and other companies to engrave custom logos on their products.

When laser strikes glass, it doesn’t deeply engrave the object, but simply leaves a beautiful frosted effect on it. However, it is often seen that the laser process has left some roughness or chipping on the etched glass. If you are also a laser fan and want to create that amazing look on the glass without any roughness, follow these 7 tips.

1. Choose right glass type

To get that perfect smooth frosted look, the first and foremost task is to examine the type of glass to be used. The amount of lead present in the glass affects the quality of laser engraving as it retains the heat from the laser and may cause the glass to fracture. Cast glasses which have less lead content and have a homogeneous structure are more suitable for laser engraving. Crystal glasses are not a good choice because they have higher lead content. Still, if you want to create that frost looks on a crystal, you need to go through some trial tests. Perfect etching depends on the composition and quality of any glass.

2. Lower dots per inch (DPI)

To create an even look without any roughness on the glass, use a lower resolution. For example, if you use 300 DPI, it will give a better result as it engraves the dots farther away from each other.

3. Speed

The evenness of the engraving depends upon the structure of glass. For instance, the engraved area in a glass bottle may look unevenly frosted because bottles have soft and hard spots. Engraved flat glass objects, on another hand, have overall consistent hardness. So, the trick is to engrave glass at medium speed with high power.

4. Masking

Though masking trick is rarely used, it can reduce the heat which creates that uneven look on glass. A thin, wet sheet of newspaper or paper towel is used in the masking process to cover the engraving area.

5. Dish Soap

Another trick to dissipate the laser heat is applying a thin coat of liquid dish soap over the area that is going to be engraved.

6. Jarvis Dithering

If you want to create a smooth high-resolution image effect in less time, Jarvis dithering is the answer.

7. Polishing

Once you have finally engraved your glass item, polish it with a ScotchBrite pad to remove any glass shards produced by the laser engraving machine.

So, follow these tricks to laser etch glass with confidence and perfection.