Laser Technology like UV & CO2 is the ideal method to engrave glass but what about a Fiber Laser Engraver? Can you engrave Glass with Fiber Laser? If you have a Fiber Laser Engraver and have a glass engraving project then you are in the right place.
So can you engrave Glass with Fiber Laser?
You can engrave marks on glass surfaces by laying the glass on top of a stainless steel or aluminum plate and marking it with a fiber laser. The fiber laser beam engraves the stainless steel or aluminum plate as it passes through the transparent glass and leaves a permanent mark on the glass.
Fiber laser engravers have a wavelength of 1090 nm and because of this, they cannot be used to directly mark transparent materials like glass as the light passes through them. Read on to find out how to use stainless steel or aluminum plate to create a permanent mark when engraving glass with a Fiber Laser Engraver.
Test 1: How To Engrave Glass With Fiber Laser Using Stainless Steel Plate
Note: We are using our Omtech 20W Fiber Laser Engraver with a 110mm Field Lens for these tests. You can check the Fiber Laser on Amazon – (Paid Link).
- Step 1: Find the focus on the stainless steel plate
Most Fiber Laser Engravers have visible laser pointers which aid in rapid and easy focussing. The built-in red laser locator synchronizes with the laser’s scanner to enable precise work on the machine’s workbed.
Manually lower the Z Axis from the top until you see the strongest and loudest laser. This will indicate the correct focus. If you pass the correct focus point the laser and sound will become weaker so stop at the strongest and loudest point.
Step 2: Place a piece of clear glass over the stainless steel plate
We are using a piece of Soda-Lime window glass for this test.
Soda-lime Glass is the most prevalent type of glass, accounting for over 90% of all made Glass. Soda-lime glass is used for bottles, drinking glasses, and windows.
Because soda-lime glass has a low melting temperature, it is an excellent choice for laser marking and produces little chipping and flaking.
We would not advise trying to mark Lead Crystal Glass with a Fiber Laser Engraver. Glass made of lead crystal is more inconsistent during engraving. Lead-filled glass tends to produce more heat when it is engraved, increasing the risk of excessive chipping, flaking, and even shattering.
- Step 3: The Correct Settings
We are using the following settings with our 20W Omtech Fiber Laser Engraver – 110mm Field Lens.
20W Fiber Laser Engraver Settings for Engraving Glass
- Step 4: Engrave and Clean
Proceed to engrave your design. Once the engraving is complete clean up the metal residue left on the surface of the glass with a damp soft cloth.
Test 2: How To Engrave Glass With Fiber Laser Using Aluminum Plate
We are using a piece of black anodized aluminum for this test. Follow the same process and settings as for Stainless Steel.
How To Engrave Glass With Fiber Laser: The Results
As you can see the results are pretty good. You will get a darker more pronounced mark using the stainless steel backing plate when compared to the aluminum backing plate. The color of the engraving with the black anozided aluminum will be a lighter grey.
So even though you can engrave glass with fiber laser it is not the best choice as you can’t engrave glass directly and the results may be inconsistent. If you want to engrave glass for production purposes then we suggest you have a look at one of the below options.
What kind of laser engraver is best for direct glass engraving
UV Laser Engraver
Laser ultraviolet (UV) marking machines are well-known for their high absorption rates, allowing them to mark a variety of materials with minimal heat damage and good contrast, particularly on glass.
A UV laser will produce high-quality markings on glass. Drinking glasses and crystal timepieces retain their smooth surfaces because a UV laser causes smaller micro cracks than a CO2 laser engraver. This is the reason why UV Laser is classified as the best laser for engraving glass.
However, a UV Laser Engraver will cost more than a CO2 Laser Engraver and you can expect to pay around $10,000.00 for a good quality UV Laser Engraver. We had the pleasure of testing this 5W JPT UV Laser Engraver – (Paid Link) and without a doubt the best laser for glass engraving production.
What Materials can be Engraved with a UV Laser Engraver
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Acetal Polyoxymethylene (POM)
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
|All Types||All Types|
CO2 Laser Engraver
CO2 lasers with wavelengths of 9,300nm or 10,600nm are the best choice for engraving glass. With a CO2 laser engraver, you can laser engrave flat materials like window glass or mirrors, round workpieces like wine or champagne glasses, and cylinders like bottles.
CO2 laser cutting machines are an excellent option for engraving glass as they offer precision, speed, and accuracy and are very affordable. You can expect to pay around $2,500.00 – $5000 for a good-quality CO2 Laser Engraver and cutter. We have the 60W Omtech CO2 Laser Engraver – (Paid Link) and are very pleased with the results we get when engraving glass.
What Materials Can Be Engraved With A CO2 Laser
- Matte Board
- Wood Veneer
- Coated Metals
- Anodized Aluminum
Even though a Fiber Laser Engraver is not the first choice for engraving glass it is possible by using the method we explained above. Mirror glass can also be engraved with a fiber laser engraver by engraving the reflective coating on the back. However, the best laser equipment for the production engraving of glass would be a UV and CO2 Laser Engraver.