Etching and Etching

Has anyone tried painting some metal then using their glowforge to cut out the parts they want etched before shoving the whole plate into an etching bath of some sort?

I haven’t had a chance to try it, but I’d like to when I get a chance. Figured that it’d be a quicker and easier way to custom etch various pieces without having to either get a vinyl resist made or trying to do it by hand. Didn’t know if anyone had thought of it, I’ve seen people etch various metal projects with the glowforge, but the results seem to be a bit hit and miss, while this idea may provide more reliable results.

I don’t know, thought I’d throw the idea out to the collective, see if someone was willing to try it, since my glowforge is out of commission until my shed warms up… damn minimum operating temps.


Haven’t tried for etching, but many of us have worked with painted metals. :glowforge: does a lovely job of eating away paint, even high temp engine paint.


That’s why I thought it’d be good for eating away the paint to form the resist for the actual etch.

Again, just a thought to the collective. Maybe someone could make use of it if they hadn’t already come up with the idea.

Or maybe I’m treading in the oft looted idea dungeon and I just didn’t do a thorough search.

I’d do a search for keywords related to that kind of etching. I seem to recall reading some posts about that sort of thing being done. Might be some very good information. (Or I could be thinking of something else.)

So doing a search with the terms “metal paint etching” leads to a few interesting posts. What I found interesting is that while there is a bunch of examples of people talking about it, I found no reference to anyone actually doing it with a glowforge. It has been done with other resists using a glowforge though. The first post below contains a link to a youtube video of somebody using paint as a resist using a different laser.


So it is possible. Cool! And now I feel like I’ve wasted everyones time.


I figured it would work, I just hadn’t seen anyone directly try it with the glowforge. I have seen projects where they’ve had varying levels of success on aluminum and the like. Where they’ve directly etched onto the metal. But I figured if you wanted a nice deep etch the tried and true acid or electro etch would be best, figuring that the glowforge could be used to make a the resist by cutting the paint off a bit more consistently and in bulk than trying to do it by hand, making a transfer from your actual printer, or getting a vinyl resist made.

Just dip or spray your metal with paint, let dry and let your glowforge carve out the bits you want etched before giving it a nice bath.

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Here is another one.

He actually did it a little different, but same effect.