So I guess the question is if you can truly etch glass with the Glowforge? Maybe to do this I will just have to use acid? I’m hoping that I can frost glass with the Glowforge though.
Have you tried Armour Etch? (It’s an acid paste.)
I’ve used it on clear glass, but never tried it on cobalt or amber glass, so don’t know what the results would look like on those. It does a really great job of etching clear glass to get a frosted look though.
Guess I should try some on some bottles to see what happens. (And you can still cut the mask using the Glowforge if you want. That paper tape would work great.)
Along the lines of what @Jules was suggesting, I was going the vinyl stencil/Armor Etch route, and then I brought this…
Master Airbrush Airbursh Sandblaster Air Eraser Glass Etcher with a (FREE) Ho…
I use it in conjunction with cut vinyl stencils… much more consistent etch and the resulting piece wears well.
No fair! Can’t buy more toys right now!
It kind of has sucky reviews though.
Have you tried multiple passes at a lower power setting?
I suspect the glass is micro-fracturing due to high thermal loading. I’d suggest that as a first try and if it works well then bump the LPI up to get a more crisp design.
I have had ok luck with glass try more LPI
@jjmacdougall, where do you get your vinyl masking? I thought we couldn’t use it. I have wanted to try sand blast etching too.
Yes you can but as @Jules pointed out the process is through micro-fracturing so it’s a different result than the more traditional abrasive blasting and chemical etching.
If you’re looking for the frosted effect you get from the latter methods you have to use one of those. The GF engrave lends itself to other treatments like painting (either before or after depending on the effect you want).
I don’t cut my stencils on the but instead on my Cricut cutter. There might be other masking that isn’t vinyl that you can cut on the 'forge and that would work with sand blasting… I just haven’t done the research as yet.
I ordered some of this. It is laser safe and conforms to the item to be etched. It hasn’t arrived yet. I have used Razist masking for photo resist processing, but the washout process is very unpredictable, so using the laser is my new plan for designs too delicate for my Cricut.
Correct, but I recall mention of laser compatible maskings being made on these forums. Somewhere.
Check this topic out if you haven’t already — some info in the latest posts that may help you out.
For glass make sure you are using enamel paint. Just regular acrylic will come off.
I did stained glass ornaments with good success. I used Full pews (power) and 400 zooms (speed) with blue painters tape for masking. You want to make sure that the glass is very clean before you stick the masking on. I also noticed that thinner lines worked better than thick. So it might be more readable if you used a thinner font like “The Skinny”. But I think the third picture is really good. If you want to use paint to make it stand out more use an enamel paint as acrylic will come off pretty easily.
I do it the vinyl route. When I etch glass - I use my Silhouette Cameo to cut the vinyl and then the etching cream. Works great!
Well maybe I wasted money buying the film to protect it. I didnt even second guess it wouldnt be laser safe. Its the same stuff I use to transfer decals. how would I go about determining if its safe?
Best way is to contact the manufacturer and ask.
clear/plastic-y feeling transfer tape is almost always PVC based, which is bad. Paper-based transfer tape is generally fine… but It is best to never assume anything. For example, the literature for TransferRite 592U (hi-tack) and 582U (med-tack) specifically state that is it a laser-masking material… that’s what I use for masking in the laser, and also for transfering decals.
Great progress. GF was down and not calibrating for some time so I finally got that fixed. For anyone that may come into that in the future they recommended to just unplug it, the computer you were using, your modem, and router. Then plug them all back in. Got it all working right away. Super simple reset. Wish they would make that info readily available since I had to wait days to find that out from them.
Anyways, here is my now test. I ended up changing the text to a rastor image and then used the convert to dots setting in the GF screen. I did 3 different ones. The far left is 1000/40/450 3 passes, next is 1000/30/450 3 passes, and last is 1000/20/450 2 passes. Also I took a pic before and after scrubbing it with the green side of a dishes sponge to see how it would hold up. It seems that the middle settings worked great and holds up.
Much nicer result! Great job!
(I’m going to shift this to Beyond the Manual and tag it with “Settings” so other folks can find it later. I’ve got a bunch of those I need to do one of these days.)