Awards & Engraving

March '16

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18 • A&E MARCH 2016 by Richard Korbyl LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS We know that lasers are capable of doing so much—their limitation is usually restricted only by the operator's imagina- tion. You probably use your laser for wood, plastic, metal or other various substrates, and have also considered using it on glass. This month, I am going to share some tips and techniques on how to laser engrave glass. This includes all the dif- ferent techniques and third-party products aimed at you laser engravers. WHY LASER ENGRAVE GLASS? Traditionally, glass is embellished using a process called sandblasting or sand- carving. This process requires applying a stencil mask onto the surface of the glass. It also requires the user to sandblast using some form of media or silica. The openings in the mask allow the sand or silica to mark the glass. The longer you blast that area, the deeper your engraving becomes, giving you almost three-dimensional features. Hence, to sandblast an item, you need to create the artwork, produce a stencil mask, tape off and protect the rest of the glass item, sandblast, and then remove the mask. Of course, I am simplifying this. If you really want to learn more about the T he optimist says that the glass is half full. The pessimist suggests that the glass is half empty. What does the laser engraver say? Is the Laser Engraved Glass Half Empty or Half Full? TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR LASER ENGRAVING GLASS There are a wide variety of ways to laser engrave glass with a CO 2 laser. While it may appear that all the techniques provide the same end result, it's the consistency of frosting that is important. The problem with laser marking glass is the shards of glass that fracture off, providing inconsistent and unpredictable results. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RICHARD KORBYL

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