Difference between engraving and etching

Hey I just got my machine and wanted to know the difference between engraving and etching pls help!


Here is a previous discussion:

Posting in Problems and Support opens a ticket with Glowforge support. They won’t be able to help you with this. So, I am moving this to the appropriate category.

Engrave for thick lines. filled text, area coverage, etc. Think of this as picture or art mode if it helps.
There is a special Engrave -> 3D engrave. It is a ‘vary power’ for depth, dependent on darkness of the various image elements.

A Score is just a shallow Cut. One line following the path no matter how thick that path ‘line’ is in the art work. Could this be called an Etch? Maybe correct term wise, but in the Glowforge User Interface is will be seen as Score, so…

Those are your essential choices. Engrave (picture like) - 3D engrave (carve like) - Score (shallow cut) and Cut.

Lot of names for things and the forum can be fun but also confusing, when joke terms like PEWS or Meercat are embedded. Just roll with it and know you can do the basic things listed above, no matter what you wish to call them.

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Engraving is a physical process, where material is removed by mechanical means.
Etching is a chemical process, where material is removed by acid or similar.

The Glowforge can engrave certain materials like wood or plastic by vaporizing them.


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