How to Engrave on Glass With a Machine

Written by liz tomas
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How to Engrave on Glass With a Machine
Engrave glass using a machine. (jeux d'ombre s image by harmonie57 from

Glass engraving with a machine uses lasers or diamond tips to cut away areas of the glass to form images or words. To produce high quality engravings, make the time to get to know your machine. There are rotary glass engravers that can engrave round glasses. Most engraving machines will have attachments for different types of glass pieces. Create glass signs, personalise items or create decorative glass keepsakes. Make sure your computer has the proper operating system and software to operate the engraving equipment.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass engraver machine
  • Image file
  • Computer
  • Proper glass attachment
  • Liquid soap or other lubricant
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Steel wool

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  1. 1

    Install the necessary attachment into the laser cutter depending on the type of glass being engraved. For example, a rotary attachment is needed to engrave drinking glasses that are circular. Your laser cutter manual contains instructions on changing attachments.

  2. 2

    Create or open the file that contains the image being engraved. Create this image in design software like Photoshop. Load the image into the machine software.

  3. 3

    Apply a small amount of liquid soap to the area of the glass that will be engraved. Be careful to keep the edges clean. Soap on the edges will cause problems and the cutter attachment will have problems gripping the glass.

  4. 4

    Wet a piece of paper towel with water and wring it out. Lay the wet paper towel over the glass, being careful to avoid air bubbles. As with the soap, the wet paper towel will cause problems with the attachment if it is over the edges.

  5. 5

    Place the glass in the attachment within the cutter. Make sure the glass is secure.

  6. 6

    Set the power and speed settings for the machine engraver based on the settings recommended for the glass type and thickness found in the cutter's instruction manual. Different machines have different settings.

  7. 7

    Clean the glass with water when the engraving is finished. Soften any sharp edges with steel wool if needed.

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