Marking\Engraving thin stainless steel tags

Hello All,

I am having issues marking some thin stainless steel tags. I was able to successfully mark them last week without any coating on them, however, the moment I put the tags on a jig to hold them in place they start to fail. They will mark fine the bottom 3 lines of text, but the top 2 lines just fade away till they are not visible.

I am currently using the following settings: Speed 1000, Power: Full, LP: 450. I have adjusted the material height to .125in as I created the jig on 1/8" acrylic and the tags sit flush with the top of the material. Am I missing something?

I recommend you use “set focus” rather than choosing a height. Just make sure the red laser dot lands on the tag when it focuses.

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Thanks for the reply. :slightly_smiling_face: much appreciated.

Ok. Not setting the height of the material, or the focus height and it’s still happening. Is there a way I can share images of what’s happening?

Yes you can copy and paste or upload (upload arrow)
an image to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

I am surprised that you were able to get any marking on stainless steel without a marking agent as Glowforge cannot engrave metals. I look forward to seeing your photos.

This is what is currently happening.

Here’s another example:

Just to be clear I’m not supposed to be specifying the material thickness OR the focus height, just using the “Set Focus” feature and having the laser hit the tag itself right?

This is correct. The machine briefly flashes a red dot onto the workpiece where you indicate you want the focus.
It is odd that it fades out like that. Are you sure the crumb tray is seated perfectly in the dimples on the bottom?

Yep. Double checked the crumb tray. It’s on correctly.

Well that’s a head scratcher. If you flip it 180° will the part that is faded out print correctly and the rest fade out? How about in different areas of the crumb tray?

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Are you cleaning the tags before putting them in the laser? It’s possible there’s oil on them from when they were machined…

I only have one crumb tray. I have tried flipping it 180° , same results. We have cleaned them thoroughly with a microfiber rag. Same issue.

Oh I didn’t mean flip the crumb tray. That only goes in properly one way. I just wondered if you flipped the tag does it engrave exactly the same or opposite?

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Oh yeah, I didn’t flip the crumb tray. I flipped the image. and we’ve printed on both sides of these.

SO far this is the best I have:
Settings: Speed: 600; Power: Full; LPI: 1355

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This is a mystery. The image is still in focus at the top even though the engraving is becoming faint. I am wondering if, as the tag heats up from the engraving, it changes the property enough to affect the subsequent lines of text. What happens if you do the bottom line of engraving as a single engrave. Then do the top line of text separately. Is the top still not engraving when all of the middle lines are ignored?


Made some progress today. Performed a cleaning of the lenses and the fans. Big improvement. Now playing with the settings and getting more consistent results.

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Or each line individually maybe