Awards & Engraving

2018 Laser Engraving Report

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12 n LER 2018 W hether you're marking pint glasses, wine bottles, shot glasses, or coffee mugs, lasers work wonderfully for customizing glass substrates. Glass engraving and etching with a CO 2 laser produces a beautiful frosted effect, allowing you to etch custom logos and designs on a variety of popular items. This article focuses on both designing for glass engraving as well as the actual process, and also includes some tips and tricks that make engraving on this material a breeze. BEFORE YOU BEGIN It's important to note that glass engraving differs from other types of engraving, such as wood or leather, because we're not actu- ally removing material. When a laser strikes glass, it actually fractures the surface. The frac- turing of the glass surface produces a frosted appearance, but it can also cause roughness and chipping depending on the type of glass being engraved. While the frosty contrast is desirable, the roughness and chipping are not. The composition and quality of glass vary widely, and it's not always easy to predict the effect that you will achieve, so it's always best to experiment with an unfamiliar glass source. For the most part, flat glass tends to have a consistent hardness throughout, and the engraved areas don't tend to have lighter and darker areas. Bottles, on the other hand, tend to have soft and hard spots that cause the engraved area to appear lightly frosted in one area and heavily frosted in another. Engraving at medium speed and high power can somewhat compensate for this, as will two or more engraving passes. While the laser beam itself is hot, the heat doesn't build up easily, and it shouldn't discourage you from engraving onto full bottles of wine, champagne, or other filled glass bottles — these make fantastic gifts. WHERE TO START As with any laser technique, the more you experiment with glass, the better you'll get at engraving it. However, there are several Image 1: You can change the color intensity using the color palette in CorelDRAW — select your artwork and then select "80% Black" from the pallet. ALL IMAGES COURTESY AMY DALLMAN By Amy Dallman Amy Dallman is the marketing communications specialist with Epilog Laser. In this role, Amy creates many of Epilog's communications, such as newsletters, case studies, and press releases. She also heads up Epilog's public relations efforts. Amy can be reached at amyd@epiloglaser. com or toll free 888-437-4564. Glassware Engraving Techniques for Laser Operators Tips to help ensure flawless glass engraving every time

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