Sand painting

Saw this on my facebook feed, and realized with a laser cutter, it is pretty trivial to make the pattern which is used to make the pattern


Very pretty! It looks to be a silkscreen type of pattern, judging from the flexibility of the material. Can you do that on a laser cutter? I would have thought it would need to be a photo-emulsion type process.

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Omigosh…that was incredibly beautiful. Sand is so transitory though…this would need to translate into something else. Gorgeous.

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Personally, I can’t wait to see what beautiful results a person could get with a process of multiple powder coats on metal. Lay down a base color, etch off pattern, do another color, etch off pattern…

Powder coating in itself is actually fairly easy, it’s just the baking of paint layers that can be a real hassle.


That’s close to what I want to do with my Glowforge first. I want to cut kapton tape masks for powder coating.

I think an issue with vaporizing is there’s no way to keep the second layer of powder off the first. Unless you’re talking about lasering the second layer off of the first. I guess that might work, but I suspect that would require a very uniform layer of paint and very consistent layer thickness from part to part.

It’s very lovely - but what is it for?
Does it get baked like enamel?
Does it transfer to fabric?
Or is it just done for the sheer joy of it?

Absolutely no idea what the guy in the video does. He put some kind of glue on at one point, but not enough to have any real impact structurally.

As for what he used as his “sand goes through here” material, not sure what it was. But a thing sheet of acrylic would work just as effectively (I say with no experience actually trying it…).

Swap out his sand for a spraypaint can, and you have lasting art embedded on nearly any surface. So I suppose this is just me being over-excited by another application of masking.

But hey… marvelling at simple things is what makes life good :slight_smile:


Well, normally for powder coating you’d use static charge to attract it to the metal and then melt it in an oven to bond to the surface. I’m thinking a person could likely sprinkle some powder onto metal, and then do a low-speed, low-intensity (but high enough to hit melting point) pass with the laser.

In theory, at least.

The one issue with this is the air assist on the laser head.
It is going to blow the powder around before it can melt. :frowning:

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Good point. Damn. Forgot about that. :frowning:
Perhaps some sort of paint paste? Powder coat mixed with something else that makes it gel so it doesn’t blow away but still stays in place, long enough to lase?

@jacobturner, you should issue a rabbit hole alert with these links. I’ve been getting nudges and hints by all sorts of things to go to India and experience Diwali. Seems like the stencil art of rangoli is common during this festival of light and color. Another peaceful YoutTube example. Not sure if sand is art is appropriate in this case since rangoli seem to be made of colored powders like rice flour. Also came up with the name Bruce Shapiro as an artist who explores CNC as a tool in making art. Some wowzer sand art.

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Ball bearing sand art is an insane concept. I love it!

Watching @marmak3261’s YouTube video I get the point of the white dot in the middle of the sand now. An alignment marker for placing the stencil thing back in place. And seeing the stencils in different angles makes it clear they are not simply vacant areas where the sand goes through, but rather solid where you see color, and netting where you see white/clear area.

That would imply that the ring around the artwork is likely a thicker hoop, which would define a certain depth of sand applied per layer.

colored thermoplastic powder and a blowtorch?

Heat gun? I have been gettting lots of vibes that a heat gun will be on my tool buying list pretty soon.


Heat guns are very useful - I just really need a blowtorch to ease my pyromania till my Glowforge gets here before the end of the year :wink:

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Looks like silk screening fabric / setup

That’s something I was hoping to try as well. Shucks about the air assist. Surely it could be turned off?

I think this idea is already in the Hopper

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Smaller version:


Cool! One I can afford!