Size of text?


I was wondering if anyone knows how small of text we will be able to etch/cut and it remain legible. I was wanting to make some key chains with poems on them.


Shouldn’t be a problem with a laser. I have engraved so small I had to use a magnifying glass to read it. Of course it will depend a great deal on the grain of the product you are engraving as well. I use a cheap chinese engraver with astonishing results so I can’t imagine how much better the Glowforge will be.

Here is a recent set of keychains I made for Police Wives of Kentucky. The badges have very tiny text. Not sure how small but not as small as you can go for sure.


Here’s a post where I tried to figure that out.
6 point no problem and smaller from what I understand.


its said to have 1000dpi. retina displays on iphones are coming in at around 350dpi. so youre going to be getting roughly 3x the resolution of modern day high res phone screens. You should be able to make some incredibly fine text with that.


I would think the limiting factor would be the material not the laser precision when you get down to this level of dpi. Cut two lines too close together on wood and I would imagine the smoke would blur it quite a bit and I’m not sure how much cover material will help with that. Just my two cents. :slight_smile:


You’ve got 1000 dpi of movement resolution, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a 1-mil dot. The cutting kerf is (nominally) 8 mils (0.008), so an engraving dot will definitely be smaller than that, but not necessarily 1 mil. To put it in terms of something like Inkscape, you’ve got one-pixel resolution, but that doesn’t mean your smallest stroke is 1 mil. It might be several mils.

Even if it is, of course, and your smallest letter is a whole 50 mils high, that’s still about 3-point type. (I think you could probably get down to about 20 mils if you really wanted to.)


So, engraving on a grain of rice? :innocent:
Not quite the bible but certainly a short sentence.


Or at least a short word


Thanks everyone for your help.

@marmak3261 I didn’t see anything on the search that helped but I probably just overlooked your suggestion. Thanks for the link


Or maybe even a corgi hair?


Love those keychains


This is exactly right. Your spot size depends on the material; you have 0.001" positional accuracy.


Hmmm. This makes me wonder – could a person achieve additional smoothness by following up edges with lower power and nearly retracing them? Almost like anti-aliasing?


Ooh, that’s a clever idea!


Someone try the retracing and let us know how it works.