Engraving anodyzed aluminum

Hi! The home page says that the Glowforge can engrave on many materials, but there are not settings listed for anything like anodyzed aluminum. I’ve been searching the manual and the community and find a few settings in the community, but nothing official. Do you have guidelines for engraving things other than the wood or leather or acrylic proofgrade items? Thanks!

The P&S catagory is for support issues with your actual machine, so they won’t respond to your questions about settings for other than Proofgrade materials. Because of the nature of your post, I’m going to move it to the Everything Else catagory where other forum members can assist you. If you do a search for anodized aluminum, I’m certain you will find many posts. I’ve made some posts about it myself. Best of luck!

We can only discuss settings for non Proofgrade materials in the Beyond the Manual section of the forum.

Many of us have had good luck engraving anodized aluminum. Here are some posts you may fing interesting; https://community.glowforge.com/search?q=anodized%20aluminum

Also, there is a Google document started long ago with some settings people have shared: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sWOebDU94HwezYPbHa3YdtXjpLbEl_vEPvCb1dSByL4/edit#gid=582951492

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Thanks! I was afraid of that, but hoping because it’s listed on the main page of things the Glowforge can do :wink:

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Thanks! I have been searching the forums here for several days, and have read many of those, but it seems that settings are “what worked for me” and no two blanks are alike (which I guess is where “proofgrade” comes in :wink: ) I’ll keep reading and burn a blank or two testing settings. Unfortunately I haven’t found my blank provider in any of the posts. And of course I got 5 different types to test, and if 2020 holds true, they will all be different :rofl:

The manufacturer lists a 35W setting at Speed 100/Power 60. Is there any way to translate those to GF settings? Is it as simple as doing the 40/35 maths? Or would it be logarithmic? Or sticks finger into the wind?

OMG that google doc! I had not found that. No aluminum, but that’ll be super helpful for other things! Thanks again!!

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I’m pretty sure the speed is way too low for those settings. I went in to the GF materials list and looked up the settings they have for the iphones and mac books. Those are 1000 speed/full power, 450 lpi. I haven’t done anodyzed aluminum, but those might be a good place to start.

I don’t know what a kinda blue pixel 2 is, but the GF settings for those are 1000 speed, 61 power, 450 lpi.


The speed and power for a 35W that you list is not comparable to the Glowforge. You can also try the mac book settings as suggested by @CMadok. Anodized aluminum is pretty forgiving. The only thing that will probably need tweekng is the lpi based on what you are engraving.

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Every anodized aluminum is a little different. I’d start with the default settings for Macbook or iPhone.


What in the heck have I been worried about?! These came out GREAT!! Thanks for the feedback while I fretted :blush:

Plates ordered from Custom Engraving Plates. These are the Laser Engravable. I used Speed 1000, Power 30, LPI 270 and using a sheet of draft board and tape as a jig, the height was 0.15. Still not sure which ones I’ll use for the rest of the garden; these will go in now as a weather test.

The top row was previously engraved on a Cricut Maker. I love my Maker and was ok with those as compared to indented copper or handwritten wooden or plastic tags…but seriously no comparison! And quite a bit faster on the GF :smirk:



Moved this to Beyond the Manual…

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