I am looking to do some engraving on phone cases and wondering if anyone else have had any luck or experience with this. I am thinking of using the following cases however wondering if they would be glowforge laser safe:
The blurb says it’s solid wood, and I assume the rubber layer is inside. so where is the problem that you might be feeling, if you’re only engraving, not cutting ?
These are very nice. Thanks for the link.
I lasered a rubber case, which is fine to use as long as it really is rubber and not vinyl. Vinyl contains PVC, which puts off chlorine gas which the human body doesn’t do well with, and the optics in the GF don’t do well either. Google PVC test with copper wire. There is a simple test involving copper wire and a propane torch. If it burns green it contains chlorine.
The rubber was great while cutting, but it kind of melted into itself.
Here is a video testing for chlorine gas. There are better ones… https://hackaday.com/2015/03/14/how-to-identify-plastics-before-laser-cutting-them/
The real wood phone cases are a very common laser item. As long as it says “real wood”, I’d feel comfortable sticking it in the GF.
It might be a bit of a hassle for just one or two cases, but they can be had real cheap directly from China in several types of wood. The trick is finding someone who will sell them in smaller quantities. I just takes a bit more research, but you can find them. I keep telling myself I want to do a big phone case group buy here on the forum, but I haven’t got the energy up to do it yet
I received the phone case today and it is natural wood on the top and I believe some sort of rubber coating in the middle. In determining the correct settings for engraving and not to engrave to the point where it goes to deep into the other material I am wondering if i would input the height of the actual phone case in the spot for “uncertified material” or in the field for “focus height”? Anyone with insight on this?
If the case is under 0.5" in height, (measure it with a calipers), use the tray and enter the thickness of the case into the spot for uncertified material.
If the case is thicker than 1/2 inch, you’ll need to remove the tray and do some math.
Sure the case measures just .22 inches so I can use with the tray for sure just wasn’t sure how deep the engrave would go and trying to avoid going to deep where it goes through or penetrates the rubber as well as the wood is the top coat and rubber underneath.
I’m going to give you a hint then…defocus the engrave.
One thing that I’ve noticed recently that I really like is that a defocused engrave or score will cut more shallowly in the surface of the material. (Also the line comes out a bit wider, so you might want to run some tests.)
So instead of running the Focal Point at the 0.22 inches that it is going to default to when you enter that number into the Unknown Materials slot (and yes, you still enter the 0.22 inches in the Unknown Materials slot), once you have the engrave set up, switch it to Manual properties, and just change the Focal Point from 0.28 to 0.32 inches. Do some testing to see which results you like best on some material that is a similar thickness.
(Also, keep the LPI to 225 or less. It starts to burn over itself at higher LPI ranges.)