laser etched glassThinking 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-to-handle machine controls. Creating new products is a breeze with these custom systems.

Glass etching is commonly used on promotional giveaways and personalized products for events, weddings, and many other commemorative occasions. Discover more possibilities with a Thunder Laser USA glass laser etching and engraving machine. You’ll be surprised at the versatility and user-friendly design of our machines.

What Kind of Items Can You Etch or Engrave With a Laser Machine?

Glass laser engraving machines 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’s a small learning curve to becoming an expert at glass etching, but when you have the best laser glass engraver, you’ll become more proficient over time. We provide everything you need as well as the support necessary to get you started.

By applying unique laser engraving techniques, many different glass objects can be engraved and transformed into unique works of art. You can even create templates that enable you to produce more than one product with the same laser-cut design. This makes it easier to ensure all the products you put out are up to par, whether you’re producing one item or thousands.

  • 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 Glass Engraving Machine for Laser Etching on Glass 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. One point to keep in mind when you’re etching glass is that you must have heat dissipation from the laser. Many techniques for laser engraving on glass are based on the way the heat is dissipated and trying to control the surface temperature of the glass while the laser is working.

Here’s a list of commonly applied techniques that are used for engraving glass:

Dampened paper towel laser etching

An excellent technique that can be applied to glass engraving is the use of a dampened paper towel over the engraving area. How does it work? First, dampen a paper towel and place it over your glass surface. Second, ensure no air bubbles are formed after placing the dampened paper towel on the item. Third, once you have confirmed there are no 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 for laser beam engraving

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 the dampened paper towel, application tape can also prevent air bubble formation or overlaps. The major difference between the dampened paper towel method versus the application tape method is that the application tape will result in a more grayish result as opposed to a white engraving result. This is desirable for some projects, so it’s a viable option to consider for many applications.

Engraving without the 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 a good starting point based on your desired results. We work closely with our customers to ensure they have exactly what they need.

Laser Engraving With Different Types of Glass

A critical part of any glass laser engraving project is to properly identify the type of glass you have to work with. This is one part of the manufacturing process you can likely control because you’ll need to purchase the items to engrave. If you allow customers to bring in items, make sure you find out the type of glass you’re working with so you know how to adjust the laser engraving process.

For example, anything made from crystal is not recommended. Why? Crystal composition has a larger amount of lead. Lead is known to hold the heat coming from the laser, which makes it hard to create a uniform 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.

Because of the problems that can occur when you try to laser etch certain types of glass, such as crystal, you may need to consider a different type of process. Sandblasting, for example, can produce a nice design without you having to be concerned about the temperature of the glass while you’re working.

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’re working on a large number of glass bottles, the ideal engraving speed to minimize discrepancies in 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 — for example, 300 dots per inch. Lower DPI produces a better outcome on glass material and reduces the issue of rough engraved glass. The lower DPI places the etch dots farther away from each other, which enables you to produce a clear design without considerably weakening the glass or causing sharp edges.

Masking

This practice is optional and may not affect the outcome of the engraved glass or mirror product. However, if you prefer to apply masking on your laser engraving project, the material you’ll need is a wet paper towel or a 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. Any bubbles or creases can cause defects in the etching or engraving, which would look unsightly to customers.

Polishing

Among the common practices laser engravers apply in most of their laser glass engraving projects is polishing. The polishing agent can be a ScotchBrite pad or anything similar that can clean and buff the surface of the glass. Polishing will remove all traces of glass fragments left on the glass surface. This helps give the product a refined look that customers will appreciate.

Glass products engraved with the Thunder Laser CO2 laser engraver can produce unique pieces of artwork that can memorialize a special event in a company’s history or a person’s life. Whatever your needs 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. We can discuss the primary types of products you’ll work on and help you determine which machine is best for your needs.

The Best Laser Machines Are Right Here

Leveling up your capabilities in glass engraving is the first step to increasing your bottom line. Buy high-performance glass laser etching machines for less than half the price you see on the market, only here at Thunder Laser USA. We’re ready to help you get started with your project or business.