Glass items can be found in a variety of shapes around our homes. You may have a wine bottle and glasses from your wedding, an elegant vase for flowers, or a special candy bowl. Most times, the value in these objects are not in their laser engraving machine beauty, but in the memories we have of them. Why do these items have to have plain exteriors while having beautiful memories? How can you transform a plain glass object into an object of beauty? Laser engraving is one answer. When engraving glass with a laser, the result is a frosted appearance. That happens when the focused laser beam strikes the surface of the glass, causing small fractures. The end result is similar to sand blasting or chemical etching. Where laser engraving really shines is the accuracy and repeatability. Once the design is created in a computer, you can create an entire set of identically beautiful wine glasses for your next wedding gift. Consider some of your favorite wine glasses; they are curved and elegant.
Why use an ugly, square glass when you can have something smooth and elegant. When creating designs for glasses and other round items, there are several things to consider, including the flatness of the surface, the size of the item, and texture. If an item is curved from top to bottom, like a champagne flute, it requires a different design than a wine bottle that has large, flat areas that are great for laser engraving. The issue is focus. Many lasers are able to engrave round and curved glass but their capacity is limited. Where most lasers have trouble with curved surfaces is in the focus. On a wine bottle, a laser can be focused on the body of the bottle and stay focused throughout the engraving. With curved glasses, the laser becomes out of focus as the surface of the item gets closer or further from the laser.
For an example, consider using a magnifying glass looking at a book. If you are looking at the words on a page, you can easily get them in focus. As you move closer to the spine of the book, you have to adjust the magnifying glass to see the words. Same thing happens with laser engraving, the laser beam gets out of focus when the surface is closer or further away than the focus point. Engraving when the laser is out of focus results in blurred lines and hazy images. A good laser designer takes shape into consideration when creating a design for curved surfaces but there is only so much they can do. Laser engraved glass, when done properly, results in an attractive, unique item that is a joy to behold. Some other ideas of glass items to engrave include Christmas ornaments, storage containers in the kitchen, old bottles, drinking glasses, and much more. If you want to learn more about laser engraving, contact a laser engraver in your area. Nowadays, everybody has seen these glass products with a 3d image inside. People are always amazed about the looks of the models inside whether it is a car, a sailboat or just a company logo.
In fact the image created in this way looks like a sculpture inside a glass block. This is probably the reason, why this glass decoration technique is so very popular. It is the first technique which makes it possible to create a ‘sculpture’ with the help of a computer (CAD). The first time that the 3d models from inside the computer can be transformed in something real outside the computer! Subsurface laser engraving or 3d crystal laser engraving, is a style of glass decoration where glass markings (tiny dots) are made inside a glass object without disturbing the surface of the glass object. How these subsurface laser engraving machines do their job is in fact not so difficult to understand. Everybody has, mostly in his or her youth, put a shoe string or a piece of paper on fire with the help of a magnifying glass. The sunbeam is focused or bundled by the magnifying glass. In the focal point the bundled energy of the sunbeam is so high that the material and the oxygen in the air react and so the material starts burning. The condition in this case is that the material must be able to burn in air, like paper, wood, dry grass, shoe string, etc.
Instead of sun light it is also possible to focus a laser beam with a lens. If the wavelength of the laser light is well-chosen, the bundled energy in the focal point of the lens can interact with glass. For glass, that wavelength is 1064nm or 532nm. Light and also laser light travel through glass normally without any interaction. Is the energy of the light high enough and has the laser light the right wavelength, then something happens to the glass. While glass is normally transparent, at that focal point that specific laser light makes it locally non-transparent. This area in the glass is then seen as a tiny white dot.