Settings for engraving a painted guitar body?

I am a teacher that uses a Glowforge in my classroom, for various projects. One of my students has come to me with a wooden electric guitar body, painted fire-engine red in what I assume to be epoxy paint (very smooth and high-gloss) that she wants to engrave.

Can anyone give me some insight into what settings I should use for this? I don’t want to mess up her guitar, but would like for her to be able to do this, if it can be done.

Thanks!!

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Only insight I can give is that I’ve heard you should not engrave epoxy. I’m sure some others more knowledgeable will chime in here.

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Some epoxies can contain PVC, apparently. Hard to know, especially since you only have the one guitar to test with. A chlorine test might reduce the concern.

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If the guitar is standard size, it may not fit in the Glowforge for engraving. Even if it does, however, you should never cut/engrave any material without knowing for certain that it is laser safe. Cutting unsafe materials can be damaging to human lungs and machine electronics.

I suggest that the student consider applying an embelishment rather than engraving one. You can use veneer or one of the new sticker type materials such as this: Search Results – Page 3 – Smokey Hill Designs

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Consider cutting out and /or engraving a design onto some thin material that would then be applied over top of the current red.

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