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Like most (if not all) the members in here, I can’t go anywhere without seeing items and wondering if they are laserable… The latest are “beads” from Hobby Lobby or Michaels or tuesday mornings. Looking for larger ones made of shell, tourquoise or acrylic (not plastic). these turquoise beads engraved(scored) well - havent tried an inticate engrave yet. ( sorry for pic quality…) $1.99 for this string…

Also found some beads 50% off at Michaels. I think shell will engrave…


Love it. I’m looking at some agate, too.

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I was just wondering about turquoise a few days ago, can’t wait to get my :glowforge: to try out my long list of potential materials…

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I have the same problem. I have so many bits and bobs saved up to test that I could keep myself busy for months on just those things (years, really, considering the amount of actual free time I have these days).


Michaels had a 55% off bead sale this weekend !!

Picked up some Jasper(stone), shell,howlite(?) stone,aventurine and amazonite stone beads to engrave… Now to come up with ideas for the holidays…


As of today they still have some beads on sale. I picked up a bunch and did a tiny bit of testing on some agate. I’m pretty happy with how they came out!

(Some of you may recognize the symbol. If I ever find an appropriate green stone in a circular shape I may do the owl ring.)

The one on the left was done as a manual cut (score). The one on the right is an engraved version. (I took the vector shape, did an “expand stroke” operation on it in Affinity Designer to make a filled shape rather than a stroked curve.)

My cardboard jig. Note that I cut the hole to fit the larger of the two beads (the one I used for scoring the vector) so for my second test I had to just try to center the smaller bead in the middle of the rectangle. In this case eyeballing it was close enough, but for something where I need to be more exact I’d measure each bead separately and cut a separate hole.

The cardboard is just a scrap cut from the proofgrade packaging. :slight_smile:

My PDF file in case anyone is interested. The black rectangle was for cutting the hole in the cardboard (with everything else set to ignore). Then I turned off that cut and either turned the stroked version of the symbol (red) into a manual cut (to score it) or set the expanded/filled version (blue) to manual engrave. (I won’t list the settings here, as that’s verboten in the Made on a Glowforge section, but the numbers I used were just a wild guess. They turned out ok, but I’ll probably tweak it more the next time I mess with these beads. I’ll make a separate post with settings for multiple types of stone bead in the future after I’ve done some more experiments.


Those beads are beautiful, and they look awesome when they’re carved! :grinning:


That came out lovely! I engraved some green aventurine a while back, but the color of my stone was so pale that the engraving didn’t really stand out. Yours has better contrast than mine did.

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Agate is lovely. I’ll be posting a piece soon.

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Today I tried some (red-dyed) Howlite. It’s a naturally white stone with grey veins and is usually dyed other colors (e.g., turquoise-colored to make “turquenite”).

Whereas the agate I experimented with before turns a bright white when cut, the Howlite reveals its natural mottled white/grey interior. So scoring doesn’t stand out as much and engraving yields inconsistent brightness. Not all designs are going to look great on this stone, but it will certainly have its uses.

The first photo is an engrave. The second is a cut (score). Unlike my agate test I used the front/back of a single bead in this test. It’s an opaque stone, so there was no reason to waste two separate pieces on a test.

This particular piece started out with a lot of grey veins. I have other pieces that look like they’re probably a more solid white under the red dye, so they may produce better results on a busy pattern like this. The veiny ones are probably better used for simpler designs.

The stone is very soft and cuts go quite deep. The start/stop points for cuts are quite obvious (and I imagine could be even more distracting on an angular design) but that may perhaps improve as Glowforge improves the software. I doubt I’ll do any more cuts on this stone, however. I think it looks a lot better when engraved.

There’s a lot of black soot produced on both cuts and engraves, with a noticeable (but not strong) smell afterwards. It washes off easily enough. (These photos are post-washing.)


Very neat effect with those veins. You could make some interesting carved foot smoothing stones with that technique. :grinning:

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