Adopted by industrial manufacturers, entrepreneurs, designers, and even hobbyists; laser engraving proves to be the most effective and efficient mechanism of marking and decorating glassware. But glass is brittle and it needs to be handled with care to avoid damage. If you use the wrong laser engraver on glass, you can just as well kiss your project goodbye. But don’t worry – in this post, I will help you pick the best laser engraver for glassware.
In a hurry? My top pick is the MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018 PRO 3 AXIS. Not only is it affordable but it’s also quite versatile. It easy to set up and works seamlessly with most photo editing software.
What to look for when shopping for a good laser engraver for glassware
The secret to achieving great results when engraving on any material is getting an engraver that is suited for it. And this can’t be any truer for glassware. Here are the most important factors to consider when picking a laser engraver for engraving on glass.
- Software Compatibility
Most Engravers come with specific software, while some don’t. In the first case, you’ll have to force all your work into the engraver software while for the second option, the engraver will work with your software. In the second case, you can work on any software like Photoshop for your designs. If you have graphic design skills and are familiar with photoshop or other graphic design software, then you might want an engraver that supports that. But if you are a complete beginner with no graphic design skills, then you might want an engraver that comes with its own software.
- Material Options
Different engravers are suited for different materials. Don’t pick the first engraver that has great reviews just because. Find out first if the engraver supports the material you need. For instance, some of the most highly rated laser engravers on Amazon are designed for wood, metal, and other synthetic materials but very few are designed to handle glass. That said, most engravers can handle more than one material. So to get the best value for your money, you may want to think of any other materials you will want to dabble in and then go for a machine that can handle that material too.
- Connection Options
There are several options for the connectivity of engravers with your Laptop. Consider checking your preferred option before buying the machine. While most engravers connect to the computer via a USB port, some can connect wirelessly, e,g. via Bluetooth. You can pick any option of your choice. For instance, if you are looking for a desktop laser engraver that is heavy and will mostly be stationary, a USB connection might work just fine. But if you are looking for a small handheld engraver that you can travel with, get one that has wireless connectivity. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Be the judge of the connection option that works best for your vis-a-vis the other benefits.
Size is another important factor that most beginners often overlook when making a purchase decision. Think about the space options you have. Where will you use the laser engraver? Will you set up your glassware engraving business in your garage? Or are you looking to travel with the engraver to meet clients where they are? If it’s the former, then a large and heavy engraver is a good pick. If it’s the latter, you may want to consider getting a smaller and more portable engraver.
- The laser power and engraving speed
When laser engraving glassware, you want a laser that will allow you to turn down the PPI to approximately 300. This will space the heat out over the glass and thereby reduce the chances of the laser creating shards. For a 25 watt laser, you can go with 100% power and 100% speed. This will allow the laser beam to strike the glass quickly and leave the markings without damaging the surface. In other words, go for a laser that allows you to achieve maximum speed and power.
I have done my research by comparing several laser engravers and have handpicked the top three that are best suited for laser engraving glassware. The following section is my review of them.
The best laser engravers for glassware projects
If you are a returning reader, you know I have reviewed lots of laser engravers here. But of all the engravers, my top three picks for glassware projects are:
- TEN-HIGH CO2 ENGRAVING MACHINE
- MY SWEETY DIY CNC 3018-PRO 3 AXIS CNC ROUTER KIT
- MY SWEETY DIY CNC 3018 PRO-M 3 AXIS CNC ROUTER KIT
Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail below.
The TEN-HIGH CO2 Engraver Machine laser is designed specifically for glassware. If you’re looking for a machine that is capable of engraving different types of materials then the TEN-HIGH CO2 Engraver Machine is one choice to consider. Compatible with the CorelDraw (not included), this engraver comes with a software called LaserDraw. The machine weighs only 115 pounds with dimensions of 34.5 inches by 25.7 inches by 20.5 inches. It doesn’t connect wirelessly but it has a USB port. Setting up this engraver is pretty easy – just use the easy-to-follow setup guide that comes with it and you will be good to go.
This is arguably the best laser engraver for anyone just that is just getting started on their laser engraving journey. Not only is it inexpensive and can handle glass but you can use it for lots of other materials as well. It comes with multiple accessories including a spindle, offline controller, 4pcs clamp, and 10pcs bits. One of the key qualities of this machine is that it is easy to assemble. It integrates seamlessly with most software including CAD, Inkscape, Photoshop, and many more. This engraver also has an offline control system which means you can just insert a memory stick with your vector files in the engraver and get started. And the icing on the cake is its support for lots of graphic formats.
One of the best kits for laser engraving glassware, recommended by professionals and experts. This machine comes with a 5500MW module and it has an operational area of 11.8 x 7.1 x1.8 inches. In addition to glassware, this engraver can also be used on bamboo, wood, volatile plastic, ivory, leather, PCB, acrylic, and ceramic. This is the best pick for DIY enthusiasts that want to dabble with lots of different materials. It is relatively small so it won’t take up too much desktop space.
All the three laser engravers above are good picks for laser engraving glassware. The one that best suits you will depend on your budget as well as your unique needs. That said, my top pick is the MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018 PRO 3 AXIS. Not only is it affordable but it’s also quite versatile. It easy to set up and it works seamlessly with most photo editing software. And it works great no only with glassware but with other materials too.