What did I do wrong?

I can’t tell whether or not you used the set focus tool before placing your artwork. If not, you will need to do that and make sure that the beam falls directly on the material to engrave. You may want to consider making a jig if centering the design is very important to you.


it looks like you’re engraving every color with the same settings. and each color is filling a different area of the plate. so basically you’re engraving everything that isn’t white as a solid. and making at least 5 passes to do it.

to start with, i don’t think glass will give you a good engraving of that file. first, it glass won’t really show “levels” of engrave the way, say, wood does. so even if you varied your settings so light gray had less power than dark gray, and so red had more power than yellow, you are unlikely to see the difference in the those engraves.

but even if you engrave this in wood, with everything at the same setting, it will just be pretty much one dragon shaped solid engrave. if you wanted to engrave this on wood, i’d convert it to a bitmap (and maybe even make it grayscale), and then engrave it with variable power so you see some depth/darkness variation in the engrave.


What about my design? It looks nothing like the original photo. I used the imag-r website to change the picture I posted in this post in order to get it engraved. But it doesn’t look right to me.

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I thought I’d try engraving the image first on glass since I originally wanted to engrave this on acrylic. I’m making a gift and would like to get the image on the acrylic but want to make sure it’ll come out perfect. That’s why I tested it out first on glass. I didn’t think that the image wouldn’t show. But you clarified things I didn’t think of or knew so thank you.

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I wouldn’t use the camera to position the material/artwork. Make a circle the size of the plate that surrounds the artwork. Put a sheet of corrugated cardboard in the machine and set everything except the circle to IGNORE, then cut the circle, remove the plug, place the plate centered in the hole and set the circle to IGNORE and turn everything else back on to engrave. This is the only sure-fired way to guarantee the artwork is centered correctly on the workpiece…


I didn’t think of using a circle to set everything in place. That’s a good idea. I will definitely try that next time.

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^^^ This!



Glass and acrylic behave very differently when lasered. You can get cheap/sometimes free off cuts of acrylic from a local sign shop for practice material.


Oh! I didn’t think of getting scraps from my local store or anything. I do have a very thin acrylic I bought years ago for a project I never got around to finishing. I’ll try that. Thank you for the suggestion!


I’ve tried fixing that in Inkscape but it still shows up that way. Should I try uploading it to my silhouette software and welding it all to see if that works?

I’m still not sure what effect you are trying to achieve. If you want an engraved version of “valstrax on fire”, I’d replace the grey background with white, convert to greyscale, and export it as a PNG and let the GF do the shading (Engrave, convert to dots).

Engraving glass is very different than acrylic – for one thing, acrylic engraves at different power/speeds will be different depths, glass will not. I’d definitely test your design on a sheet of acrylic instead of glass.


I didn’t know they both engrave differently. The dragon originally was in color, but I used image-r website to convert it into the black and white image you see. I saved it as an SVG file, not a PDF or JPEG. I’ll get the scrap of acrylic tomorrow to test it out before engraving on the actual acrylic. I’m still learning so I’m playing around with images and stuff until I’m comfortable enough to actual sell.

Ok-- I took your JPG image (see caveat below) and ran it through image-r to remove the background then convert to greyscale. Here’s the output.

Looks good in the UI set to Engrave | Draft Photo…

One final caveat – creating designs from JPEGs should be avoided whenever possible. They are compressed in a “lossy” manner – they will always have random dots throughout that are very hard to see visually, but are impossible to miss in an engraving. Always start from a “lossless” original such as PNG or BMP. Converting from JPG to PNG does not remove he compression artifacts.

Good luck!


Thank you for this, I did use imag-r but I’m not sure what I did wrong when using it. I guess I’ll just have to continue playing around with it until I get it right. Either way, thank you!

You might like #9:

i would say even this needs more contrast to engrave well. the darkest area should be black.

I’d use a material closer in engraving effect to acrylic; glass won’t do it. Acrylic is vaporized to an extent but glass is not. The glass just sort of shatters (which is why you want to use a coolant such as liquid dishwashing detergent on the area to be engraved). I’d recommend trying out the design on a piece of wood, tweaking, then using the acrylic. (Hello, scrap pile!)

I’ve engraved on an oven dish before, but it didn’t have any shading.

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dimensional engraving in acrylic can be tough to really see/appreciate. it will also take some testing and practice to get your file and settings right.

it’s non-existent in glass.

it works very well in wood if your image is good.

So I redid this and uploaded the image to image-r again and this came out perfect! Thank you to everyone here who helped out. I’m learning a lot and am very grateful.

Was trying to upload a video but it wasn’t going through.


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