Light switch cover questions

Two questions, has anyone tried engraving on the plastic light switch covers?
Does anyone have SVG files for steampunk switch covers they would be willing to share or sell?

People have made their own (I’m sure you’ll find a few here with the search tool), but I wouldn’t trust that my existing light switch covers are made of laser-compatible plastic.


I would recommend just making your own from scratch, it’s not that hard. Here are some designs I uploaded a while back. You can add your own design elements (gears and things) and make them your own.


Also check thingiverse, they are mostly 3D printer files but they are getting more and more laser files.

And yes, this is a good place to start doing your own stuff.

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I don’t recall anyone posting free designs or offering to sell, but @brooklyntonia made a great one where cranking a gear flips the switch.

And here is what happens when steampunk meets art deco, no longer for sale, but still provides some ideas.

Inkscape has a built-in gear generator. If you don’t want an actual gear driven light switch cover that badly, the big box DIY stores sell wooden light switch covers you could score with some Inkscape generated gears. I agree with chris1 and wouldn’t try a plastic cover. Odds are it’ll turn all melty and not hold definition or you’ll generate a small cloud of HCL and melt the inside of your glowforge.


Yes…and it melted. I found one that was made of laser safe material and ran a test on it. The laser caramelized the white plastic and the fan blew it lightly so it set in ~slight~ waves. It was interesting, and possibly useful if you were doing a design that took that into account, but I moved onto wood ones. They just looked better.


That looks like one of the new nylon blend covers. For that material you are better off lower power and lots of passes. Nylon kind of sucks to work with because it melts and runs instead of vaporizing cleanly.


Google is your friend……0…1…gws-wiz-img…0…35i39j0i8i30.vN5SR5mf9y0

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I was browsing over on the site for “Full Spectrum Laser” and found the following light switch cover project.

Could probably be adapted to the :glowforge:.

I saw this one on Etsy a little while back and saved it as inspiration. the same seller has a few others that look fun too, although I haven’t ordered from them, so I can’t speak to the quality of the plans. I would think to probably finish with a bit of paint, some rub-n-buff, maybe some metallic acrylic…


Actually looks like he’s selling the product, not the plans. Too bad, It’d be cool to make some for my work spaces.

oh, I never looked that close at the details of the listing, sorry. Still, could serve as some inspiration to build your own, but even better!

Lightswitch covers are generally made of polycarbonate. That’s a thermoplastic like ABS. On a laser, It’s going to be more melty than vaporizing-y. Going to be hard to engrave satisfactorily.

I think this information may be out of date. Most of the new plate covers I have seen are nylon.
FYI, acrylic, which works beautifully as a laser material, is also a thermoplastic, as is acetal, so the correlation you have made is not always accurate.

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Good to know. My house was built in the 1990s and still has most of its original switch plates, with anything I’ve replaced being metal, so I haven’t looked at a plastic one for a long time.

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