So you are looking at getting a laser glass etching done? Well laser glass etching is a great way to extend your brand out there or personalize something like wine glasses or beer glasses.
Below is an info guide on all things laser etching for glass, to help you figure out what you want and what laser etching is all about, including what the best machines are and where to get one.
What is laser etching?
Laser etching involves marking a glass with a laser. With a laser, you can etch very lightly. Because of this, you will not be sandblasting and you can create some pretty cool and detailed etchings onto a glass.
There is no masking involved and a lot of machines turn the glass for the laser, so everything is nice and easy and most importantly, even.
The most common laser type is the Co2 laser used for laser etching in glass.
What can be laser engraved?
Anything with glass can pretty much be engraved. Certain compound shapes may not be, but if it is symmetrical along one axis, for example a cup. Some machines have a rotary attachment that will allow you to laser etch glasses, beer mugs, cups, wine bottles, plaques and glass ornaments.
Laser etching is a great alternative to other methods such as sand blasting your glass.
What is the best laser glass etching machine for glass?
I can’t really recommend a specific model, as it really is up to your design and manufacturing specifications to choose which one will best suit your needs. I do however recommend checking out Epilog.
Epilog – Epilog has been around for a while and are based in the U.S. They have a good selection of glass laser etching machines for glass at prices that start under the $10,000 USD mark. These guys are definitely worth checking out.
RMI Laser – These guys are worth checking out too and are also based in the U.S. They have different types of laser etching machines including a multi-purpose laser marker.
Trotec – Another company based in the U.S. that is also worth checking out. They have three enclosed machines that you could possibly consider.
Universal Laser Systems – They have 12 laser engraving machines to choose from. These are enclosed systems. This is a great start to see what is available out there, then you can drill down and pick the best machine that suits your needs for laser etching on glass.
How to laser etch glass?
1. First of all, you will need to get set up with a laser etching machine. The most common is the Co2 laser. You will need some sort of rotary attachment to turn circular objects if you need to etch something cylindrical in shape.
2. Make sure you have the design sorted and exported to a cam/cnc program. The machine will then be able to run virtual runs to see if it can do the glass etching laser job properly without etching other areas of the glass on mistake.
Once this is done, it is time to etch the actual glass itself. I always double check to make sure all the cad files are perfect and that there are no errors.
3. Secure the glass object and if needed, use laser glass etching equipment to dissipate heat to prevent cracks etc.
4. Etch away. Remember that some glass can be different, such as high end crystal. This may mean you need to adjust the Co2 temperature accordingly when laser etching glass of different types.
3d laser glass etching
Getting a great 3d glass laser etching is actually very easy. Actually the laser stays still, while the work piece is rotated around the laser. This makes 3d laser etching glass a lot easier. You can get a good rotary attachment that will rotate your work piece accordingly.
Be sure to check out the above brands as well as the above tips to help you choose the right glass laser etching machine. It pays to always test first, before proceeding with etching a whole batch, which can be a costly mistake if done wrong.