Laserbond question (for 5K race medals)

This is my first time trying laser marking spray. I am a volunteer with my alma mater’s homecoming 5K road race, and I’m in charge of the awards. I ordered custom medals for the event, and I’d like to add text to the back of each medal with the place, division, and year. I tested on some old medals, and everything looked fine, but the new medals are a bit different. The surface is textured, so I was worried the Laserbond wouldn’t stick at all. There are three colors of medals: gold, silver, and bronze. I have no idea what the actual metal composition of the medal is.

The 2nd place “silver” medal looks okay.

But the 1st place “gold” and 3rd place “bronze” medals didn’t come out very well.

Is it possible that using other settings with the gold and bronze medals would result in a better outcome, or is it likely that this is as good as I’ll get with these materials?

I don’t have spares for testing. I ran these three for the division that is least likely to have participants.

Thanks for any help.


I have limited experience with Laserbond, but I feel like you should be able to get blacker results on all of medals. Is this how they look after washing? I would try slowing the speed.


Yes, this is after washing.

Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll try slowing it down.


Well, since they changed the material from your original tests you have an excuse.
I think it unlikely they would be cast from a different base metal, so you’re probably looking at a plating. My next attempt would also be depositing more energy by either raising the power or slowing the speed. You might also look at more than one more coating before you laser it.
Only ideas I have.


I slowed the speed considerably, and the silver medal looked even better, darker and crisper. The gold and bronze medals looked no different.

So, in this case, the silver medal was the winner. :2nd_place_medal:

In the end, I printed the text on clear sticker paper and cut it into little rectangles using a rotary trimmer. It’s probably what I should have done in the first place, but it’s so much more fun to do something cool with the Glowforge. And it also gave me the excuse to buy some Laserbond.


Earlier, I had done quite a bit of testing with LaserBond. I love the stuff, but as you are finding out, the quality depends a lot on the material. I know darker would have been preferable, but I didn’t really think the more pale outcomes were that bad.


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