HELP PLEASE: Engraving on Stainless Steel, Focus Height and Material Thickness

I would love some assistance to anyone that may be able to assist me. I am currently attempting etch a design on a stainless steel icecream scooper. I have had success in the past with dog tags and coaster when i have engraved coating first with the following product:

I am now attempting to engrave the following item however running into issues where it doesn’t engrave or even leave a mark:

I honestly think my setup maybe the issue as I had to remove the crumb tray in order to engrave this however I am not sure if my material thickness or focus height is correct in terms of what i am using for numbers. I have removed the tray and typed in the material thickness to be 1.5 however it reverts to .500 and for my focus height in engraving settings I am unsure what to put here. Any advice on this would be super helpful.


The height you enter into the Unknown Materials slot is the height from where the top of the tray normally would be to the top of your material. (It’s going to be a number less than 0.5".)

There’s a really good tutorial here on how to calculate the correct value for working without the tray.

There are a couple of other tutorials in the Matrix as well, that describe alternate methods of calculation. :slightly_smiling_face:


do you think that the material above is possible to engrave on, starting to wonder about stainless steel?

Unfortunately, I’ve never tried engraving on steel, so I can’t say for sure. Several folks have marked it using everything from the Moly to vinegar and water, so if you look around a little bit, you can find the techniques they used. (Paper towels were involved, and some sort of incantation.) kidding. :wink:


Nice appreciate your prompt and insightful response. Thanks! Any ideas on engraving on an element like that that slants down means its height is not all one level?

Level the surface as much as you can - you can build a stepped jig underneath it to hold it more or less horizontal. (Maybe something like Legos?)

I’m thinking everyone needs to invest in a set for engraving on things that aren’t even.


great idea thanks!

I saw they were selling this in the grocery store, just begging for attention from a Glowforge


Also, I don’t know for sure, but there’s a chance that the surface of something like that scoop is laquered or plated rather than straight SS.

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In my experience, ice cream scoops are almost never all stainless steel. They are usually a zinc alloy with a very thin plating. Whether this is done to make them cheaper or to improve thermal conductivity is debatable.

(Note: I currently own no fewer than eleven ice cream scoops. I tend to make a wide variety of ice cream for family gatherings, and prefer to have a dedicated scoop for each flavor. Preferably color-matched. :smile: )