Fun with 3D Engraves

I’ve been playing around with 3D engrave files I bought on Etsy, and let me tell you, I am hooked! I have bought several designs from 805LaserSpot, TNALasers, and OBoysCrafts. This particular one is from OBoysCrafts.

I had accidentally engraved it with the wrong settings, using convert to dots and a really low LPI. My laptop died mid-print, so I just waited for it to finish. By then my laptop was charged, so without lifting the lid of my GlowForge, I set it to print again at the recommended settings. So this one is actually engraved twice. I’m amazed at how good it came out.


I’m hooked too. I have lots of ideas for their files.


I wish I could make these. I have been messing around with them for weeks now (which is why no-one has seen or heard much of me lately) with marginal success.


It is all in the settings. I do not know how to design them, though. My design skills are nil.

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Nice! A double engrave…hmmm…


This is a beautiful piece.


My problem with 3d engraves has been, I don’t know what material to use. I tried a small one on med hardwood and it fried all the way through. I tried one on plywood and it looked dumb with the layers. I tried one on draftboard and it turned out okay, but on all of my attempts, on any material, when I go to clean it, it ruins it. I have tried a toothbrush with simply green, with alchohol, baby wipes, soap and water. Everything liquid just saturates and ruins the wood. If I use qtips and less alchohol, it doesn’t come clean. Magic eraser doesn’t seem to work either (also, how are you people using your magic erasers? dry? wet?) So I haven’t played too much more with it.

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I was inspired by your post to visit his Etsy shop…and I ended up buying two of his files, also. They are amazing looking. Nothing was mentioned of this…was yours masked? The creator of the file didn’t mention it either. I almost never remove the masking from PG materials, but this looks like a bear to weed.


Hi tjones,
I have gotten great results with bass wood, I buy it in big chunks and resaw it into usable boards. as for cleaning the burn marks and lightening up engravings in general, I use an “air eraser” that I got from harbor freight for under $20. I use regular baking soda as the blasting medium, start with about 25 p.s.i, and use it like an air brush, gently sweeping areas you want to touch up. this method allows you to get into fine detail areas that would get destroyed using other methods. I hope this helps!


That’s a great idea. I hadn’t thought about that (& I’ve got a big blasting cabinet setup for my metal projects already but the glass media would just tear GF projects apart). The air eraser is an inexpensive solution.

Now I’ve got another tool to buy :wink:


Wow. That looks really good.

@tjones I occasionally use one as well and they work quite well. Usually though, I use cheap hand sanitizer and a very soft tooth brush.

I used a 1700 garden design and 3d engraved a wooden light switch. LOVE 3d


I don’t do much cleaning on my engraves. Most of the time it does not need it, at least in my opinion. I clean the edges and anywhere that looks smudged with a paper towel and alcohol.

No, I did not mask it before engraving. I used purebond maple from Home Depot.

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Fabulous idea. I want one!

I’ve been using quarter inch maple purebond plywood with great success.

I went ahead and sent the guy a message and he told me the same thing. So, you went pretty precisely with what he used. I really don’t have a way to get to a HD to buy that kind of wood :frowning:, so I’m going to take a look through my various supplies in the studio and see what I can come up with.

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Home Depot ships. I ordered online and had it shipped to my home.


Alcohol will ruin draftboard by dissolving the glue that holds it together, but it works well on any other wood, If it causes warp you can clamp it between thick plywood or tiles and when it dries it will be flat and stay that way.

If you try 1/4" hard maple I think you will be much more pleased with the results

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