Aluminum pistons need HELP!

I am trying to engrave some aluminum racing pistons! To make a clock and then a memory or someone who has past! I have my settings at full speed full power and 3 passes! It won’t even touch these pistons not a single mark! Anyone have any ideas! Is my only option to paint the top or the pistons and then etch the paint off??? Please help!

Can either paint and burn off or buy a fairly expensive laser marking chemical like Cermark or the equivalent. Look it up.

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You can’t engrave aluminum on its own.

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You could also have them anodized, then the laser can mark that.


Your laser will not engrave metal. You can only mark it with cermark or some such equivalent or engrave off a coating like paint or anodizing.
How the heck are you going to get a piston inside a glowforge anyway? With the tray out your work piece must be under 2 inches tall.


Welcome @kaygiorno to the community. That you tried to mark aluminum might suggest that you haven’t been able to successfully use all the tips and tricks and the wealth of knowledge on the forum.

It is well worth reading some of the basics in the Tips and Tricks section. It will surely help you in the long run. If you didn’t know it couldn’t mark aluminum as it, you might think that it could cut a vinyl record album. Well, it could cut it but after one operation your Glowforge could be irreparably harmed from the vapors that result from cutting something with chlorine in it.

Good luck and happy lasering.


Racing pistons usually have very short skirts.

I’ve moved this to the appropriate forum for discussing non-Proofgrade materials.

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Less than 2" ? Doubtful but maybe.

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