Laser engraving is an easy and quick way to personalize beer mugs, wine glasses, bottles, vases and other glass items. However, glass is a delicate material to work with, and it is therefore ideal that you handle the whole process with the care that it deserves.
Today we look at the various tips that you can use to process glass using a laser engraver.
Choose the Type of Glass to Engrave
There are various types of glasses that you can engrave. You can choose to engrave flat pieces such as mirrors or window glass or choose round workpieces such as champagne glasses, or conical items such as bottles.
You need to choose glass with lower lead content such as cast glass. These also have a homogenous structure that is easy to handle. Hand-blown glass can make it hard for you to handle because they have already been treated as they pass through the heat during processing. This might cause the glass to fracture easily.
You can also use the fiber laser on mirror glass by removing the reflective layer that is on the back of the glass, which means the surface remains smooth even after the process.
Check out Needham Coding to get the right laser equipment to handle different types of glasses.
Creating Special Effects on Glass
You can use several methods to use laser engraving on glass and create special effects. First, you can wrap moist paper towels around the engraving area to prevent it from becoming rough. This results in a clear result. However, make sure there are no air bubbles under the paper when wrapping so that you get the perfect image.
When engraving, switch the Air Assist feature off to avoid any premature drying of the paper as you engrave. After you are done, you can easily wipe off the residue paper to remain with an ideal design.
Engraving Curved Glasses
One of the challenges you will encounter when handling glasses is the shape of the item. The client requires you to create marks on various types of surfaces, including handled and more. The good thing is that you can easily create these marks using a rotary engraving attachment.
It is vital however to make sure the placement of the glass is accurate, and the handle doesn’t rotate into the engraving field. Additionally, ensure that you clamp the piece the right way so that you prevent any collision with the laser head. If the glass has a handle, make sure the circumference of the glass is huge enough to accommodate the design without it spilling to the handle. Otherwise, you might find that the design gets too close to the handle.
Flat glass tends to have a consistent hardness, which means the surface that you engrave won’t end up with dark and light spots. On the other hand, bottles tend to have both soft and hard spots that might cause the area to seem frosted in one section, and heavily frosted in some other areas. To compensate for this discrepancy, you need to engrave such material using medium speed but at high power. This compensates for the inconsistencies in the material.
The Dots Per Inch (DPI)
You need to use a lower resolution, such as 300 DPI to get the best result on glass since it engraves the dots far from one another. This gives you the best results.
Glass as a material is attractive and produces fine results when you use laser to engrave designs on the surface. However, you need the right type of laser engraving machine and proper tips to make sure you get the right results.