Dichroic Glass

@apix was nice enough to send me some dichroic glass to play around with! I ran it through a few tests - nothing too exciting, just trying to figure out the effect of different power levels.

Verdict is - you can definitely etch dichroic glass! And it looks awesome!


The surface texture in the etched area is really interesting.
It is almost like the glass breaks out in little flakes.
Now I really can’t wait to play with a Glow forge! :anguished:

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I thought so too. Like heat or stress fractures. The difference in reflection due to separate powe levels (I assume) is interesting as well. Thanks @aeva!

Thank you Eva! I think I see some dichroic art projects in my future…

What does the etching feel like with your fingers? How does it compare to the typical sandblasted or chemically etched glass?

AWESOME! Thanks a lot for testing it out! When you get the new power supply I could send some nicer pieces, These are single coated dichroic but they make some that are 30 layers that look amazing!.

This opens up tons of new ideas for me! I love it!
-Dan D

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@apix @aeva Wow great collaboration and thank you so much for doing this.

I thought I was buying a laser device for woods and acrylic but you’ve opened up some new ideas.

These look awesome! That crackle effect is super cool. I love working with glass, so I’m really excited to play around with some myself.

Nice test - that totally makes sense. The color effect on dichroic glass is a specific chemical / metal wash on one side of the glass. Thus this could be done on any coated art glass like irid too.

I’m interested to see whether etching a curved line onto glass will allow me to then socre (cut) the glass along that line.

(Among my hobbies is glassblowing and glass kilnforming.)

I’ve heard claims that you can score glass with the laser and then break it, but that probably means straight lines… probably?

If the laser can score the glass deep enough, it doesn’t have to be straight lines.


Yes, exactly as shown in the video Joe posted. I’ve cut many a straight line (with assistance from a straight rule), and circles with a circle cutter. But my hand isn’t steady enough for nice curves.

I wonder how the Glowforge will be in my stained glass project, such as scoring designs?


I bet it would also look really cool if you etched off the backing on a mirrored piece of glass.

In terms of what you can cut in glass with a score line, it’s just about any shape accept for inside angles or really tight inside curves. Meaning you can’t cut pac man out of a circle of glass. The break wouldn’t stop at the inside point, it would continue through make his jaw fall off.

Not mirrors but still very cool. Search for layered glass art.


It does look really cool :slight_smile: (working on a writeup with pictures, still playing with how to engrave the glass for scoring)


Oh wow, this is wild, we need to try this.

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And then there is Jack Storms use of optical glass. Not really Glowforge relevant that I can discern at the moment, but still an amazing technique. Who needs diamonds when you have sculptures like this:


That is super cool! I was actually trying to describe doing it on one sheet of glass. These were the best examples I could find since the last time I had access to a sandblaster was before smart phones so I don’t have any pictures.

It is a lot easier than you’d think it is, the hardest part is not cutting all the way through the glass by accident.