Etch glass tube before blowing glass.....possible?

i have an idea that i wish GF could do for me but i know they are just way to busy. im not sure if anyone has attempted to do this but im just curious to know if its possible. etch a hollow glass tube and then blow it expanding it and therefor exposing the etch art or whatever possibility GF is bringing upon us. would it crack, rip, or actually keeps its etch inside and expose like a balloon would when its blown up.

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Whoa! Unless GF has some glassblowers working for them, I doubt they’ll be able to help you out. And that’s assuming the software is even developed to the point of being able to do a curved surface accurately. (albeit it’d have to be a small tube) But man…this would be awesome to see!!!

interesting distortion questions here. And by the way. The forum has not mentioned cats at all. What kind of internets are we running here?


That sounds like an awesome idea! Does anyone here have experience blowing glass? :smiley_cat: (@marmak3261 I was waiting for a reason to use that cat emoji)

Obviously I’ve never done it but seen it done in a commercial glass blowing setting. The glass coming out of the oven is not quite fluid but has flowing characteristics. Gravity will make it flow unless you continually rotate the material. I can’t imagine any previous etching to not flow smooth in the process.

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The cat one has me saying “hoax” but I don’t know enough about glass blowing to say for certain. Details are sketchy in the little article, if he was actually observed the whole time, then there is something fundamental I don’t know.

What I have seen of glass blowing, the glass winds up in a molten state. So etchings would mean nothing to the end result. Unless they were already huge etches, then they would carry through, but blurred.

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As a beginning glassblower myself, what I’ve found is that when glass is hot enough to blow, it’s very fluid (like honey), so most marks made in the glass before blowing as generally lost as the piece is worked.

As I’ve stated in other threads, etching glass with a laser can be problematic due to thermal shock (cold glass and a very hot laser spot), which can easily result in the glass breaking.

Please don’t git me wrong, I’m not saying this can’t be done, but there are far better ways to etch glass or put imprints into blown glass.

Be the way, here is a picture of my most recent glass work.


nice work

Im a glassblower and I got the PRO! But I use borosilicate instead of softglass and a torch. And like explained above when the glass is fluid enough to move it would polish off most of the design. And Im almost sure the laser can’t etch borosilicate glass :frowning:


Very cool! I have no idea - no experience with glassblowing. Sounds like some of the folks here can help test, though.


Quite a few cases I have seen for laser art in glass rely on the cracking to make their design. They actually embed micro-fractures more than engrave.

ok so there is a possibility of glass explosion with an idea i got but as long as GF is experimenting with the printers what if…you have glass heated to honey like consistency and drop it on the GL on a pan of course and etch it as its cooling. i think its stupid enough to try :sweat_smile:

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You would have to disable the air assist. That would certainly cool the glass too quickly. My experience with glass blowing is shallow enough I cannot say for sure, but I am pretty sure even without the air assist any glass would cool very rapidly with the heat source removed.

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@aeva showed some work she did on samples that @apix sent her.
I think it was boro, @apix can you confirm?

Obviously not blown or heated post engraving, but still interesting.
I have played around a bit with slumping and fusing soda-lime glass in my little enameling kiln, and I can say that if you are not careful it is easy to trap bubbles between layers. That makes me think that you could use this to good effect by engraving and then layering so that the engraving remained as a bubble trail

Its borosilicate but it also had a dichroic coating on the outside. Not sure what raw boro would be like but il definitely test it

@apix i dont know much about glass but from what im understanding it sounds like the most we can do with glass is remove a top coat like paint or something similar to it.

If you look at all the pictures in the thread that @aeva posted, you can clearly see that the laser removed enough glass to leave a visible groove. It does not look very deep, but it definitely did more then remove the coating!

Depending on the amount of molten glass, there will only be some where between 10 to 40 seconds of working time before the surface of the glass hardens.

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