Different Materials Layered


Sorry, I know the title is unhelpful. I am a new Glowforge owner, and I wanted to know if I could use the laser to engrave my name onto already-manufactured products that had multiple layers of different material. There are a bunch of different stuff I want to label. But, two main ones:

I have a few beauty tools that have a metal casing with mechanisms underneath. As long as the metal is laser-safe, how do I ensure it doesn’t damage the wiring and mechanics underneath?

Also, I have some tools that are layered with silicone then metal and wiring. Would that be safe to engrave?

I am not sure the depth of the top layer of material, so I wasn’t sure if that made a difference.

If it’s possible to do so, please let me know any tips or tricks in making it work!

If anyone has any insight, that would be great. If the answer is obvious and simple, my apologies. I literally just got it and haven’t been able to verse myself.


First of all, welcome to the forum, I bet you’re gonna love it.

I don’t have any direct answers for you on this, but you’ll find all kinds of information here:

I bet someone will have a more specific answer for you, but in the meantime read the heck out of what I just posted, you’ll be well versed in no time.

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Aside from finding out whether the surfaces are laser-safe or not…I learned the hard way that even if you protect stuff underneath from being cut, you can’t protect it from the heat of the laser…I guess a lot depends on what these things are and how far from the laser beam the electrical / mechanical parts will be. Here’s my cautionary tale:


The GF as a rule won’t cut through metal. Can’t tell you whether the metal would get hot for an instant.

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Actually, it can…I use tinfoil behind things when I’m cutting out small pieces I don’t want to lose to the crumb tray, and I’ve had it cut through before in areas where there’s a high concentration of cuts in the pattern. It’s probably more “melting” through than actually cutting, though. :wink:


Based on the fact that I have seen the steel grid in the tray glow red hot, I think any metal under the laser will get hot if the laser puts enough energy into it. The other issue is that sometimes metal parts are copper plated and the copper will act as a mirror to reflect the laser beam back into the lens and case problems.

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Yeah, I engraved on a metal pen once without removing the inner plastic parts. They melted and the pen nib will no longer retract. Metal does get hot!

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That’s correct. The stainless steel patent plaque I made warped while being engraved (Cermark). It was 11ga.

But I’ve also done laptops and had no issues afterwards. It’s going to depend on the design & material.