Engraving a copper gift tag

I am trying an experiment with a copper gift tag. I put some laser tape on and cranked up the laser to full at a speed of 200, to see if would etch copper

1 Like

I believe that the danger with etching copper is that it reflects the red laser light, and there is a potential for damage to the lens if it reflects back up into it.

If you didn’t damage your lens I’m glad to hear it. :slightly_smiling_face:

That’s why I put the paper on

you do realize that the first thing the laser does is burn away the paper and then has clean copper to reflect off of, right?


Cermark makes a tape that is specifically for doing this on metal and leaving behind black. I’m assuming that’s what he used. If not… yikes!

It won’t touch copper. Try Ceremark or the dry Moly trick if you only need to mark it. Use the acid etch process if you want to “engrave” it.

I’ve done a lot of copper pcb boards.


Did not work

What process did you use? If you only used the process in the picture (Tape on Copper), that’s never going to work. Directly engraving metals does not work with CO2 lasers. Those of us who do “Engrave” metals with our lasers are generally using some kind of an etchant process after we take the part out of the laser.
For copper, Ferric Chloride, or a mixture of Muriatic acid and Hydrogen peroxide work well. The processes are not without hazards, so do a good amount of research before you set out on your project, but the results are amazing.


It was more of “just curious to see myself”. I’ll look up acid etching and try that

In the infrared where the laser works I would not trust that anything opaque in visible light is equally so in that part of the infrared and given that copper reflects in that wavelength better than silver it could certainly make a mess of your machine,

I have some soft copper I intend to use but by making a cutout on plywood with the reverse glued to a different sheet that they fit together. then putting the soft copper in between run over the three layers with the car,

1 Like

I have done about 50 PCBs in my Glowforge. Zero damage. by the time the laser hits the surface and comes back it is no longer in focus. Also in a prior post with Glowforge staff intrigued about the results, no concerns were made.

Also in this process we aren’t setting the laser to 11. It does not take a lot of power to vaporize paint.


Reminder that using manual settings and/or 3rd party materials goes in Beyond the Manual - I’m moving the thread there.