Engraving Plaques? Cutting surface off of metal?

Hi! I have a friend who runs a trophy shop and is wondering if he could use the glowforge to engrave text on a plaque. Most plaques have a metal material that is coated in a thin layer of colored material. Might be like a black anodize or powder coat layer on top? Any thoughts?

Here is a typical example: picture of a plaque

A laser this powerful CAN remove anodizing from Aluminum. It would do a very nice job of that. However, without knowing exactly what the material is - it is hard to say with absolute certainty.

cool. Ya I guess i need to research exactly what material is on top of the metal… Might even just be a layer of plastic laminated to it…

Making plaques is one of the ways I hope to have my Glowforge pay for itself. Here is just one example of material that could be used for plaques. There are a lot of other options.


Most supply companies sell pre-made, laserable plaques of various types. The Glowforge is more than adequate to engrave anodized aluminum, as well as the other types of materials pre-made plaques are typically made from.

Yup, I’ve done some more research and found a bunch of materials that should work just fine. That one you linked to johnwills looks fantastic. Their site is http://alumamark.com/, they are unique in that you can mark with black on metal color, which is pretty awesome. They say they have a special anodizing layer that reacts with heat and turns dark (and it’s variable so you can do photos on it!)

Other more standard materials for plaques are sheets of metal with a layer of dark plastic or similar material on top, and the laser cuts through it to reveal the metal, so bright text on black background.

I’m excited!


Looked at the website and I LOVE that alumamark! I bookmarked the site. Thank you.

Thanks for the tip on AlumaMark @eric_torrie. I mean, whoa, too cool. The site is bookmarked.

Yes, thanks both @johnwills and @eric_torrie! Samples ordered - I had seen the stuff on both laserbits and the Canadian laserstuff site, but was not aware of its ability to render photographs that well. Should be a great test for the 256 power level capability!

The downside is that you can’t cut the metal into a custom shape.
You can, however use a metal looking engravers plastic. I used it here to cut these ornaments. This is the bronze color…its available in golds and silvers too. http://www.bur-lane.com/rowmark-flexi


Thanks smcgathyfay! That looks like another nice option to check out. Does it look nice enough to use on school plaques or other awards you think? That would safe a lot of time if i didn’t have to use a metal sheer or other tools to cut out shapes… hmm…

I’ve done reward plaques using that as well as inlay different colors too…I’ll look around to find a pic to post

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Can you tell me what software you use to make them? Thanks

I use Corel Draw