Cermark Ultra testing on different materials

I’ve been meaning to share this and got a little busy. I was asked to test Cermark Ultra and see if I can nail down some starting settings for different materials. Rather than guessing what works best, I created a grid of many rectangles and assigned different speeds and powers to each…I do not recommend this…it was awful setting each in the interface, took over an hour.

These are blanks that were provided to me-aluminum (approx, 1/8" thick), stainless steel (super thin business card thickness), glass (1/4" thick), and ceramic (3/16" thick).

The numbers across the top (or bottom if I had to hand-write it) of each sample are the speed, and the side is the power. I used an LPI of 225 for each sample square.

Before applying Cermark, I cleaned each surface with alcohol. I applied with light, even coats like spray paint. After engraving, I cleaned with alcohol again, but then took a razor blade to see if it scrapes off. These are the final results on a Glowforge Basic 40 Watt machine.

Sample can vs large can:

Aluminum: This was the most difficult to leave a mark. Full Power/100-200 speed were the best results.

Tile: 10 Power/450 speed were the best, but the higher speeds/more power had consistent results. The 60-90 range in power at higher speeds yielded good results. Too slow and too much power damaged the tile.

Glass: 70-90 Power/ 500-650 Speed were the darkest with the least damage, aside from 10 Power/100 speed (this is probably too slow for normal users). Too low of a speed is damaging to the glass, and it cracked the sample.

Stainless Steel: Full Power/1000 speed worked every time. Lower speeds caused significant warping/damage. I had inconsistent results between my first two tests at the same settings, and I’m not sure if it had something to do with spray consistency. My first test shifted because of the light weight, so I redid it. The second test didn’t mark lower powers at all, so I’m assuming there might have been a difference in my coats.

Damage on the back due to high power/low speed:

Test Results:

I hope this helps give people a starting point when trying to determine Cermark settings.

I know Cermark is quite pricey, but I was able to do all these tests with a sample spray can, and I still have plenty of the can left. The sample can is 2oz, and goes for 12 dollars, plus tax, and shipping. So it’s a cheap way to try it out if you’ve ever been curious. I’ll include the link here for anyone interested. I also learned that Cermark cannot be shipped over air (some of the other sprays I order also cannot travel by air), and so only ground shipping is available.

Cermark Ultra Sample Can


Oh man, this sounds amazing and super helpful, but the images aren’t loading. :frowning:


That’s so strange. They show up on my end, I’ll try re adding the photos.

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FWIW, this is how it looks to me.

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Do they show up now?


I see them now.


I see them and thanks for the review. I love Cermark and use it on stainless steel alot at the full/1000 and always get good results. Aluminum is harder but making sure it’s clean of fingerprints, etc. is really important. Thanks again!!


Yes, full/1000 on stainless steel was the best, but if it’s super thin, it definitely leaves an impression on the back. I just wanted to see a full range in case there is another combo that does not make an impression on the backside of something so thin.

I cleaned the surfaces before applying the spray and I was very careful not to touch it with my bare hands during and after cleaning. So I don’t think my finger prints were an issue, I just think aluminum is difficult. :rofl: :rofl:

Someone mentioned before about a film on materials. But this blank was a sample I was sent, and I literally peeled off a film that was supposed to be covering the bare surface. In scrubbing and cleaning this blank, I didn’t notice any special coating. And it did engrave…just at full power and very low speeds.


I didn’t know about the sample size can, cool.

It is $12 but you also have to pay $10 shipping unfortunately. It is $25 on Amazon shipped, so a few bucks more for quicker delivery is an option.

Thanks for sharing these tests.


Wow, this is very helpful! Thanks for your testing.


Yeah, I wasn’t sure how much shipping was, but I wanted to let people know that there is a sample size rather than having to buy the large can. I think I accidentally deleted the picture of the two cans next to each other. I’ll add it back up there. I don’t know how long the sample can is good for, but I definitely have at least half a can left after spraying maybe 2 square feet worth of sample pieces.

@cynd11 I have the file I created for the test if you want it :rofl: :rofl: setting each square was the worst part…and telling my husband that I think low speeds and high power would break the glass (it did not shatter, but it did crack into many tiny pieces). He was like “no, it’s pretty thick, I think you should be ok” and I was like, just in case, I’m deleting the high powers and low speeds. It still cracked, low power, low speed.

I also have a piece of Cermark tape that I haven’t tested yet. I think I’m going to use it on my kitchen knife.


Aluminum for me is hit or miss so I don’t even try it much anymore. I’d be interested to see how you like the tape. I wasn’t aware of it!!

Yes, I was told there is a paste too

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FYI: Had a large can of an expensive Cermark like marking spray and at some point the propellant completely leaked out. Wasn’t a total loss though. I punched a hole in the can and poured about 10oz of the liquid in a plastic bottle. The liquid works just fine if you just brush it on. Honestly it’s easier to control where to place it so is likely more cost effective that way.


It’s apparent the manufacturer chose well when they selected you to test.


Excellent testing! Thanks for sharing all your results and photos.

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Ha, just noticed that stuff is made by the Ferro corporation. I did digital design work for them decades ago, still remember demoing the interactive annual report I created when the CEO just randomly wandered into the room. :smiley:

Thanks for the comprehensive review, that is super helpful. Stainless steel is the way to go!