Laser engraving: Tips and tricks when working on glassware

1 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Laser engraving is now becoming more common than ever and it's slowly replacing methods like mechanical engraving bit by bit. Engraving on glass and crystal can bring forth amazing results but this art takes more than intuition to master. You need to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills to work with glass or else you'll be breaking every single one of them. So whether you want to write your name on a champagne bottle, or carve out your logo on mementos, this info would certainly come in handy for someone looking to enhance their engraving skills.

Glassware vs Crystal

Glass and crystal both make very good engraving platforms but one may wonder what choice to make between the two. You should probable realize that a glass surface is much easier to work on as compared to crystal. Though the crystal structure may look more visually appealing, it contains lead which retains heat after the work is done. Glass cools almost instantly and the outcome will be a more precise and clear engraving.

Top tips

Before getting on with your engraving, you need to ensure you are aware of the speeds and power you need to use. With glass, you have the option of setting your power and speed at its max but that's when you are using a 25watt laser. However, if you are a beginner, try at lesser speeds and power. You should also turn down the PPI to about 300 so as to keep the heat spaced out and distributed over the glass. This prevents the formation of shards, which are tiny fractures on the glass.

Wet the surface

The heat produced might increase and radiate from the glass. If the heat is too much, the engraving may be ruined so one tactic you can use is adding some water before you begin the process. The water prevents you from reaching extreme temperatures that may ruin the engravings, and you can add a bit of detergent to keep the surface moist. Some engravers also prefer adding a wet towel or newspaper over the glass surface.


In most cases you'll need to clean up the glass after engraving it and if there are any shards, then use a nail to get rid of them. Spray alcohol and then use a paper towel to gently clean the glass surface of any tiny glass pieces. The advantage of using alcohol is that it quickly dries up and also gets rid of any oils.

If you're interested in laser engraving for larger projects such as signs or plaques, consider contacting a business like Canberra Rubber Stamps.