What type of stone can be engraved?

I am planning to engrave some smooth river rock, no dimensions exceed 3 inches, but I don’t have a clue what settings to use. Yes, I can experiment. But, if any user has a tip, I am all ears…
Very green owner!

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For scoring try Speed 150/Power 90, for engraving try Speed:250/Power 80: Conv dots 50%, LPI 340. It will vary so much on stone type but it’s a start! Hope this helps.


Yes, Amber can be engraved and surprisingly cut.

I have piece of Dominican Amber that I polished from raw stone. I wanted to see what the laser would do to it.

Ok these are horrible photos and examples but I think with some experimentation setting could be dialed in pretty easily but I don’t have a reason to engrave or cut now, so take these test as preliminary.

First Cut: 125/full, It didn’t cut through but it did cut deep so I just went with 125/full/2 passes and it cut 1/4" through. There was some “resin/liquid” and melting but I think a quick re polish would clean it up.

and then engrave: Shot in the dark settings and a tiny engrave but I think it would work well with setting adjustments. it’s maybe a bit meltly. 1000/59/340lpi.

That’s all for now. If I find a need I may experiment further.


EDIT: I saw that you had posted them below. Sorry! I am knew at posting in the community!
Can you share your settings for this? I would like to engrave some river rock, similar to this. Also, GO HAWKS!

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Hi Jenny, welcome to the community! :sunglasses:
The settings will depend on what kind of rock. Minerals react differently, so test the piece you want to use and adjust the settings to best suit you. It’s a treasure hunt, don’t deny yourself the joy of discovery! But you could explore the years of subjects on the forum by using the search tool upper left by your avatar. Try, “Engraving stone”.


I got a few sets of onyx and marble coasters to engrave.
Thought I would share the results.

Onyx behaves more like glass and chips at the edges of the score, so for the next time maybe some testing with a lower power setting, or smearing with liquid soap as others have sugested with glass.

Black marble was a challenge between enough power to leave a marking, and not too much to chip the edges of the engraving.

Pink marble was the best material. It engraves white, but with black ink, brings out the details

Thanks everyone for the inspiration and the knowledge shared!


The Onyx name is given to rock of several different basic types of rock. Some are Marble (CaCO2) , some are heat treated agate. The stuff that comes out of Mexico is pretty much marble (often color treated) There is some expensive agate that comes out of Italy pre heat treated by volcanoes.

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Those are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Hope you have been well.


i’ve done a lot of rocks out of my rock garden and found that limestone seems to fall apart faster when engraved. i’ not a geologist but i’ve found that that the red rock which i thick in some type of granite works rather well in the glowforge. as long as your rocks are less the 2" thick just about any rock will work if it has some kind of flatish surface to engrave on. if i could remember how to put pictures on here i would show you a bunch of them i have done. i usually set my setting at full power and speed around500 and lpi ar 225 and has worked very well for my purpose. I bought some landscape slabs that were 12x12 1/12" and i used those setting and only ran it one time thru. Yeah you can engrave rocks and slabs but i’ve noticed in the end result there were little bits of the rock or slab in and on the bed and gantrey of the engraver which i had reclean up between slabs and rocks.

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You just drag and drop a picture here in the thread that you’re typing.


I used a 12x12 stepping stone from Lowes. Washed it off, and used the darker side of the stone. Used 250/full/340. My logo didn’t do very well, but the rest was fine. It went to family, so wasn’t that big of a deal about the logo.


Congrtulations @DeniseM, and welcome to the forum!
I love what you did with the stepping stone.
Your logo has small details that the porous nature of the stone does not show very well, but I recommend you put masking tape only on the logo area and after engraving give it a light coat of paint to highlight the details of logo.


Alternative doing the logo larger, or both. Getting extra to experiment with is also good. When engraving rough porous materials you plan to paint, it is a good idea to paint the masking after the engraving with clear first so it won’t show when it runs.


Thanks. I will keep that in mind. Tried a trial version on another stone to see what settings I should use for the main pic, and tried to paint, but, like you said, the stone is too porous. So that is when I tried it on the darker back, and just engraved it, no paint. But yes, the logo was too small, and didn’t show up well. If I do one again in the future, I will keep in mind about the clear and the paint on top of that. Thank you!!

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Further my experiments with Onyx and Marble,

For presents I bought six 4” blank obsidian discs and engraved them and applied gold rub’n’buff and a little stand (posted here elsewhere) scaled to size.
I’m quite pleased with the outcome.


That’s a gorgeous piece of obsidian. and it definitely looks straight out of an ancient temple!


Very nice.


What a fitting material of historical importance to the Aztec for the subject! The rub n buff really made it pop, didn’t it?


When I engraved the pink marble, the engraving was lost, so I applied black acrylic paint to enhance the contrast.

Obsidian being dark black volcanic glass, engraves white, and it looked good, but to bring out the engraving I thought gold would really enhance it.

As you said, it really made it pop. The pictures really don’t make it justice. The weight of the piece, the fact that even engraved you can still use it as a solar filter to look at the sun, and the overall balance made them superb personalized gifts for my friends that visited from the USA and Canada.


What was your score settings for this?