One of the thoughts that i had was to take e.g. a photo and convert it into a 3D model, then use that to engrave on the materials. Just wondering how the GF handles 3D cutting on materials like glasses/bottles, etc. with a non flat surface as well as doing the 3D engraving.Or am I thinking about trying to do too much at once?
Search for “glass” on the forums. There have been quite extensive discussions. You are limited to objects 1.5 inches thick. Test tubes, small vials and salt and pepper shakers. The most productive have been to use the Glowforge to print some templates and then do sand blasting or chemical etching.
Hey Hugh, engraving will be limited to minimal marking on glass so no 3d engraving sorry. Gf can handle curvature of the object asking as it fits in, using the camera to refocus.
As for 3d on other materials:
3d Engraving on glowforge is handled by using greyscale raster images not a 3d model but you could use a 3d model to generate the greyscale image. Glowforge plans to have 255 power settings, each corresponding to a shade of grey. (when I last heard word of it they were just receiving their new power supplies that will enable this, previously they only had on or off as a setting), I don’t think they have demoed 3D engraving yet, but that is the theory. I believe glowforge does not work with 3d files just 2d files(but you can export from most 3d programs to a 2d file format)
Once you get your Forge, you might find that a better approach is to cut sandblasting masks with it and then sandblast the glass to whatever depths suit you. You might end up with far more control and finesse.
It would require a much more powerful laser to engrave/etch a metal surface. The only way for the Glowforge to etch a flask, is if the surface is anodized or if you using a coating product like CerMark.