Dog Tags - Practice Makes Not Quite Perfect

Penny needed a new tag, so I thought I’d try the Inventables 2 color engraving plastic (1/16 inch). I didn’t get quite where I wanted with this material. I think it might need the enhanced engraving that some of the PRU users had turned on for awhile. Here’s what I got. Don’t care if this group has my number, just don’t sell it to telemarketers. All my disposable income is tied up in the Glowforge and accompanying materials anyway.

EDIT. See @nunzioc s post. He had good luck with removal of the clear film that I left on. Here it is. Still lots of trial and error, but in the end, he got great results with the inventables 2 tone. Made StarWars Coasters with 2 Tone Acrylic - UPDATE: NOW 2 WINS :)

Not good. I used the Inventables numbers and they were WAY too high (although I couldn’t find what watt laser they were referring to). The first one that is not even pictured “engraved” right through the dog’s face and the middle fell out. The ones pictured above weren’t much better.

These are a little better, but still have bleed through. The one at 125 lines/inch definitely shows the line striations close up and still has some color bleed through in the phone numbers. The last one is at 195 lines/inch and the lowest power & highest speed currently available. The lines in the engrave pretty much disappeared, but there was more bleed through.

Here’s a close up of the last one. I don’t think it is pretty enough for my Penny.

Did I mention that this material STINKS when engraved. Possibly because of the over burning, but this was the worst I’ve run into. The Glowforge vents pretty well, but the material smells when you open it to remove it and stays with it for awhile.

So, Here’s my recommendation of you need dog tags:

Anodized Aluminum. Of course you can’t cut these. I bought them online at The Lord of the Rings and they were relatively cheap. You can’t hardly mess them up either. My first engrave was at a very high power and low speed. Not necessary! No photo because it was crooked and I started over. These were done at 100% power and 70 inches/min and 195 lines/inch. Still probably overkill, but didn’t hurt anything. The front took about 3 min and the back about 1 1/2 min. I think I may have saved the front at a higher DPI when bringing it in to the interface? Maybe that is why it took longer.

I’m not sold on 2 color acrylic engraving (yet, fingers crossed for updates). Anodized Aluminum, though, is the Boss. Penny will be proud to wear this new tag.


Wow @chevalier_jeanpaul. That was a quick like! You probably didn’t even have time to read my long winded post. I assume you are looking at the forum as something is layering right now?


HA, yup, sitting here reading while a 1hr map engrave is going.

I was going to ask, then I figured I would just test, but I will ask anyway. Did you try the 2 color with masking or just bare? I bought like 50 sheets of the stuff when BF plastic was selling the 12x24 sheets for $2.50 each. I really hope we can dial in the settings for some good engraves.


Does the two color acrylic have a masking on it? Can’t tell. If not, I wonder how tape will work.

And as to smelly acrylic. Must be something weird. I consider acrylic to have a smell, but it isn’t acrid or nasty. Sweet to me. Colored less pleasant, but any lingering smell on the parts isn’t an issue.


I have been buying and using this product for many many years. Not the stuff from inventables but from romark and other places. I’m worried now with the influx of laser cutters and the companies that are scrambling to get more products out there that they are cheapening their products. I’ve never seen the effect that you are getting with the bleeding. If anything it just wouldn’t take off enough of the surface material but I’ve never seen it bleed through like that.
I do like the pink anodized tag so it was a good trade-off LOL unless your dog is a boy LOL but I figured penny is a girl


I also wonder if as a temporary work around, you could convert your design to a raster. You could increase the speed beyond the 195 up to as high as 335 if needed.

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The Ring Lord is also a good source for these.

And of course, Amazon :slight_smile: But I like the Ring Lord because I get rings from him.


Oops, that’s where I got them. I thought he sold supplies through Etsy, but I guess I went directly to his site. In any case, He does have good stuff at a reasonable price.

These were all raster. The last one was at 335 max speed. The lines per inch for the raster was at the mid range of 195.

This came with a thin clear thin plastic film. I didn’t think to try additional masking.

This was by Innovative Plastics Inc. I thought Inventables would have pretty good quality material. Maybe not, or maybe it’s me doing something wrong.

I set the material depth at the lowest it can go. I didn’t play with the focus. That may be a trial for anther day. I don’t even remember what the focus ended up at.

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I don’t like the thin plastic film coverings (which usually are on extruded by the way…interesting you got it on this stuff). I’d pull it and put down some proper masking - either the purpose-made stuff or blue painters tape and give it another go.


@nunzioc has a thread here talking about working with this very same material. Looks like he took the plastic masking film off and had fantastic results.


Hey Bill-- I would still obfuscate those phone numbers. While non-owners cannot post in this forum, it can be read by anyone (including the folks you don’t want having your number). There may even be image-processing bots extracting whatever they can from uploads. Sorry to be paranoid (said by a victim of identity theft).


Rowmark makes two types of engravers plastic…one for rotary machines and one that is laserable…
The one for rotary machines is ABA plastic on both layers…the laserable one is acrylic on top layer and ABA on the bottom…

If what you got was for the rotary cutter, that would explain the bleed through as ABA is super melty.


It specifically said laserable on the clear coating. That plastic must be removed by the way. :neutral_face: I’m getting forgetful and forgot about the @nunzioc thread that solved the problems I had. I edited the top of my post to link to his solution. Will try it again tomorrow. It seemed to work great for him, although the Inventables web page has way too strong of setting recommendations for the Glowforge. He said that their engrave settings melted right through, just like my first attempt.


No harm at 100%, but I’ve had great success with this material at 10% on my PRU. Great job!


But…Every Bojo knows you gotta have powah!