Engraving Glass with the CO2 Laser
Processed Material Examples

Engraving Glass with the CO2 Laser

Besides a much higher powered laser, another thing that really sets the FABOOL Laser CO2 apart from the FABOOL Laser Mini is its ability to process transparent materials such as clear acrylic, clear plastic, and (you guessed it), glass.

There are a few things you can do with glass, but for this entry, we’ll explore the process of engraving drinking glasses and how to solve/avoid certain issues that may potentially arise.

Positioning

As discussed in a previous article on engraving a stainless steel cup, positioning is key. One quick, easy way to position the glass is to use clay or putty of some sort. This allows you to hold the glass firmly in place while also providing an easy way to adjust the height and accommodate the slope of the glass’s taper keeping the focal point uniform. If you don’t have or don’t want to use clay, tape is another alternative. With tape you can simply fold a strip of tape to the necessary thickness and place it under the narrow end of the glass.

Cardboard is another alternative.

Laser Parameters

Getting the settings right is equally as important as material placement. If the laser power is too high and the speed to low, there is the risk of the glass becoming too hot and cracking or shattering. Of course, if the speed is to high and the power to low, the engraving may not even be noticeable.

A good place to start might be around 15-20% power and 3000-4000 speed.

Here are some examples:

Speed: 3500
Power: 20
Passes: 1

Speed: 4500
Power: 20
Passes: 1

If the settings are too extreme (low speed, high power), the glass may overheat and crack as shown below.

Speed: 300
Power: 100
Passes: 1

Speed: 50
Power: 100
Passes: 1

Caution: If you are processing glass at high power settings for any reason, please allow a few minutes of cooling before touching the glass as it may be very hot immediately afterwards.

A Final Note

As a final precaution, you will want to be careful when touching the design immediately after finishing. After the processing is done you may find tiny shards of loose glass that can fall from the engraving or scratch your finger as you run it across. One way to completely get rid of these shavings is to put a piece of tape across the engraving and pull it off taking the loose shaving with it. Another way is to take a crumpled piece of paper and rub the engraving until it is smooth.

Once you’ve done this, the whole thing will be a bit smoother and your customized glass will be ready for show or use.