So I have been meaning to do a writeup on marble in the glowforge and am finally getting to it. In this first post I will just show the results and settings of the types of marbles I have done. I will do follow up posts on this thread that will go into the best vendors I have found for these items, trade offs of the marble types, and other random marble stuff you can fit in the glowforge.
The marbles in this thread are honed and polished marbles. The settings I used for all the honed marble was full power, full speed, 270 LPI, and two passes. The settings I used for all the polished marble was full power, full speed, 270 LPI, and one pass.
The different marbles and the results when engraving
So lets start with just the standard white honed marble (marble that is smooth with a matte finish). This is the marble I commonly see people use in the other marble posts on these forums.
As you can see, the design stands out some but not as much as the other marbles I will go into. One option you can do with this honed marble is use a colored filling to fill in the engraved design:
I do not remember the paint I used but I do know that it was one that I found when using the glowforge forums and so you can search for marble paint and probably find it on this forum.
So now lets go into polished white marble (marble that has the glossy finish)
As you can see, the design stands out much more and the variations in the veining of the marble standard out more. Hang in there though because I will go into the trade offs for picking this type of marble in my follow up post on this thread. There are down sides to using the polished marble.
So now, here is polished black marble
And here is polished black marble next to honed black marble
And finally for this first post, here is polished green marble
The cons of polished marble
No doubt, designs look amazing on the polished marble. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1) They are prone to breaking/chipping
With the polished finish on the marble, the edges become fragile which causes them to chip easily. When they do chip, the rest of the polished surface makes the chips stand out that much more. Below is an example of a ding that did not take much effort to have occur:
2) Vendor supplier
Polishing a marble to the quality like the ones in my photos is not something someone can do DIY with honed marble and still get the same look at mine. The boards used in my photos are all made by FoxRun brands which is a company that has dominated the market when it comes to these types of boards. So that means you really just have one brand but there are a few options where to best buy that brand. I will get into that in the longer session on vendors. I actually have a wholesale account with FoxRun but I do not order these boards from them often for some reasons that I will get into.
3) Standout veining
All marble will have veining however, the polishing of the marble will make the veining stand out much more then the honed marble. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Personally I think the variations of veining is really cool and what I love about the polished marble.
The thing you have to keep in mind about this is that it means there is a lot more variation from slab to slab. So if you are going to sell these slabs then you have to be prepared for customers that do not like the veining of the one they got. No matter how much you explain this in listings, you will get customers like this (yes, I can be a little snarky in my responses to some of my customers):
So if you sell them, be prepared for people often asking you if they can have a “prettier board” (whatever that means)…
Again, I will follow up here shortly (over the next few days) with the sources on where to buy these marbles, and other fun marble items that can fit in the glowforge.