Hi friends.

I’m new to all of this and am trying to learn as much as I can before my GF arrives in a few weeks. I keep seeing the term “sublimate” or “sublimation” and, well, I have no idea what that means in relation to laser engraving/cutting. I’ve googled the definition but I’m not sure if that is something that I need to know when it comes to engraving, for example, cell phone cases. Example: 5265104130 Sublimation phone cases sublimation phone cases | Etsy

If anyone can explain it and also let me know if it’s something I need to concern myself about, I would appreciate it.




As always the forum has your back.

And where the forum might not have what you need google rolls in like a boss:


It’s not something you need to concern yourself about in terms of the laser. It’s just a way of permanently printing on certain materials and it happens to pair nicely with laser work.


Ok thank you for that. I’m going to just put that on the side burner for now.


Unless you are very familiar with other software, now is a great time to become familiar with Inkscape and Gimp! Gimp modifies raster files, and Inkscape does best at vectors and preparing the files for the Glowforge. You do not need a working Glowforge to learn any of it.

I started by just working through all the commands, to see what they did, without a finished piece in mind so when I did need to do something I knew of the command to do it


I guess my next question would be, can I use the GF to laser engrave directly on to a product that is made for sublimation?

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The reverse is the question. Can you sublimate on something you laser engrave? That is a key question for me. It is not just the print but the need for heat and pressure to move the color to the material. Hard to do that if it is not flat for starters.

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The reason I asked the way I did, is I see a product I would like to engrave, but I can only find versions of it that are made for sublimation. So, if I purchased that item, I would be engraving directly on to it, skipping the sublimation.

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Yes and yes, which are both covered in my original link:

@jazzmark: It’s a good question, and it’s been asked a few times. Here are two:

@rbtdanforth: @ovm.steve has done this a few times:

Search ftw!


Thank you!

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Sublimated products are usually a lot more expensive than ‘regular’…you may want to search for something similar that isn’t a sublimated product:-)

Yeh, I noticed that. I’m trying to find what I want non-sublimated. Thanks!