Glass Engraving

Although glassmaking began thousands of years ago, glass continues to be used extensively by many manufacturers and businesses. This raw material is critical for producing windows, electronics, bottles and tablewares, packaging, and more. Regardless of the industry or application involved, engraving glass is often a necessary part of production.

What is Glass Engraving?

Glass engraving is the process of creating a design on glass by removing material. Glass engraving ranges across industries—from decoration, automotive, food, and more.

Diamond ball burrs are a common glass engraver choice. But, diamond ball burrs require lots of time, a steady hand, and uninterrupted focus. Using a laser marking machine as a glass engraver is an automated, damage free, and user friendly alternative.

White Marking

Creating a white mark with glass laser engraving is achieved by using a CO2 laser. The white appearance is created by generating tiny cracks on the surface of soda glass. The tiny cracks are done gently by the laser by repeated marking to create the cracks using low power. KEYENCE’s optimal glass engraving machine for white marking is the CO2 Laser Marker ML-Z Series.

Transparent Marking

Creating a transparent mark with glass laser engraving is achieved by using a UV laser. The transparent appearance is done by gently melting the surface of quartz glass. Since quartz glass is heat resistant, but glass is fragile to cracks, the mark is achieved by slow marking at high power. KEYENCE offers a glass engraving machine for transparent marking, the UV Laser Marker MD-U Series.

Types of Laser Glass Engraving

There are two types of lasers used for glass laser engraving: CO2 lasers and UV lasers. Each has high absorption levels and specialized processes for marking.

UV Laser Engraving

UV laser marking works by converting a 1064 nm laser into a 355 nm laser. The 1064 nm laser passes through two crystals and minimizes the wavelength into a 355 nm laser for minimal heat stress and high absorption. The 355 nm laser breaks the bonds directly instead of ruining the base material. KEYENCE’s UV laser is the UV Laser MD-U Series.

CO2 Laser Engraving

A CO2 laser works by using heat to process CO2 in a tube. Then the electrical discharge in the tube generates plasma between a reflective mirror and the output coupler. Next, the plasma hits materials and the material absorbs the light. KEYENCE’s CO2 laser is the CO2 Laser ML-Z Series.

Advantages of Laser Glass Engraving

Quality Adjustment Level

When glass laser engraving, there are two markings; white marks or transparency marks. White and transparency marks require different speeds and powers. For this, laser markers MD-U and ML-Z allow for easy adjustment. The levels are Top Speed, High Speed, Standard, High Quality, and Top Quality.

Short Wavelength Model

Precision with glass engraving is essential. Although glass is heat resistant, it is fragile and susceptible to cracks. The short wavelength model allows for automated precise marking with shallow engraving and less surface swelling. Because of this, larger cracks that break the whole product are prevented.

3-Axis Control

Glass comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and uses. For instance, drinkware, decorations, personalized gifts, or industrial projects like curved windows. With the 3-Axis control used in KEYENCE’s ML-Z and MD-U Series, any object can be marked. The 3-Axis control autofocuses the focal point for distortion-free marking no matter the shape, including step, inclined surface, cylinder, and circular cone.

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