Laser etching glass is different from the traditional method of sand blasting glass, it produces sharper results but isn’t as deep.
CNCROi.com has both an industrial laser and industrial sand blaster, so we use the technology that optimal to the design and volume at hand.
This piece of glass is probably older than I am, it was found in the bottom of an office drawer and what surprises me most is that you can still purchase this to do what I did today!
The evolution of the promotional industry hasn’t changed much in almost 40 years has it.
To make finishing easier, this piece of plate-glass that’s about to be laser etched was masked.
CNCROi.com has an Austrian dual-sourced industrial wide-format laser, what that means is that pieces of glass far thicker and bigger can easily fit on our bed size and if needed, we can also feed it into our machine!
CNC laser etching glass produces a precise result right on the surface by exploding the surface layer of glass, you can run your fingers on it without getting cut, the shards are incredibly small and we clean it up before shipping.
The advantage of CNC laser etching glass is that we can customize each piece however you like, it becomes quite a task, especially with small details that tend to overspray or underspray using our industrial sand blaster to do the same.
The other advantage of using our laser to do this glass etching is that the depth is consistent, you don’t have those peaks and valleys, however small, caused by the abrasive action of a sand blaster.
Here’s another example of laser etching into glass I did a while back, this time, it was a piece of glass from my fridge we have here in the CNCROi.com shop, just to show you that we don’t really need any special kind of glass to work with here.
One thing to keep in mind though is that glass has different lead content from type to type, we’ve found that the higher the lead content in the glass, the better the results we achieve micro-shattering it with our CNC laser.
Unlike sand blasting, we don’t have to worry about overspray or underspray, meaning that because there is no sand involved with this glass etching when using our laser, no “abrasion” occurs where you don’t want it to happen.
Hence why even very small and sharp details come out fine while with a sand blaster, it would be impossible to achieve the same results.
And now it’s time to cut out the incredibly highly detailed palm tree which would be impossible with the sharpness you’ll see after this is finished using any other method out there.
CNC laser etching glass is also a more efficient process, but it does have its limitations, if you want something deep, abrasive sand blasting is the only way to go, so each tech is used at CNCROi.com optimally focused on the design specs at hand.
Whether the details are over a large area of a small one, there is no loss in quality, precision or end-result unless there are variances in the glass itself which sometimes do exist.
The challenges with laser etching glass are just getting it here, doing the work and shipping it back without it breaking while in transport, the thicker, the far better!
The palm tree is almost done custom CNC laser etching, you can see what was etched quite easily, another advantage to masking things, it’s easy to double-check the design is correct throughout the glass plate.
Time to take a closer look, that variation you see on the etched glass is just glass debris, it comes right off, the results are also frosty so together, they give it an interesting look before it gets cleaned-up.
The wrap is almost all done, you can see how evenly distributed and consistent the etching glass has become under our Austrian CNC laser at CNCROi.com .
Different thicknesses and types of glass produce different results, so we prefer to have a test with the glass you have in mind before doing work in our custom CNC shop.
Let’s take a look at this CNC laser glass etching at a few different angles, the texture is similar to a fine grit sand paper.
And visible even in the worse of lighting conditions when it comes to photography, CNCROi.com is a custom shop, not a photo studio so the focus is on machines, not amazing backgrounds and color corrected lighting set-ups.
All that’s left to do is put back the pen holder bits where you see the two holes, looking at how these holes were made, I can tell they used a drill that wasn’t very straight as there is some chipping.
If it was up to us to make this, we’d use a waterjet for precision and a nicer finish.
Luckily, those brass inserts hide the material defects in the cutting system the shop that made this produced, regardless of the angle, this laser etched glass looks great!
Even with the beautiful ancient pens whose ink have long since dried-up.
These pens are now fantastic paper scrapers, I’ll put something more useful in them after chucking these dead ones out.
Glass is really a nice material, it’s resilient, easy to clean, hard to scratch (compared to acrylic) and available just about anywhere.
Need something totally custom? Contact us at CNCROi.com right now!