Laser etching glass and Crystal Engraving

Detailed glass etching and laser marking glass with Trotec laser engraving machines

Glass types suitable for processing with a glass laser engraver

Laser engraving on glass achieves simple and precise results. Using a Trotec laser engraving machine ensures a superior finish. Etched glass produces a matte effect when done with a laser. Extremely fine details and  contours can be lasered onto glass. Possible applications include photos, wording such as quotes or dates or logos.  It is possible to add glass etching to wine glasses, champagne flutes, beer glasses and bottles with our rotary attachment. Flat items such as mirror or window glass are easily lasered. A personalised gifs for a special occassion or corporate presentation are memorable and make laser-engraved glass unique. As the mark is permanent it is the ideal choice for a window design

Glass types suitable for using with a glass laser engraver

  • Window Glass
  • Container glass
  • Mirror glass
  • Cast glass
  • Pressed glass
  • Float glass
  • Sheet glass
  • Crystal glass
  • Mirrors
  • Bottles
  • Conical glasses and round glasses
  • Drinking glasses, wine glasses


Examples of glass engraving applications


The laser machine etches the top layer of the glass.This creates a "matting" effect on the material. With a Trotec laser cutting machine, fine clear, white glass etchings are accurately applied to the material. A rotary attachment is recommended for glass etching and laser marking on glass items with a cylindrical or conical shape (e.g. beer glasses, vases or bottles). the Trotec rotary attachement turns your work automatically during the laser engraving process. This ensures it remains in the right position and maximises teh engraving area. Glass cannot be cut in a laser engraver.

  • Automotive industry
  • Personalised engraving
  • Corporate Gifts
  • Promotional materials
  • Optics
  • Decorations
  • Personal Gift items
  • Interior design
  • Drinking glasses and bottles
  • Mirrors
glas cube laser engraved

Why should I buy a laser for glass engraving or glass etching?

A Trotec Laser machine means non-contact processing which limits the risk of glass breakage. With a glass laser machine, you do not require stencils or templates which are used with processes such as sandblasting. The glass surface is etched directly.  If sandbalsting is essential for deeper engravings, the laser engraving machine is useful for perfect template production. Adhere the sandblasting film onto the work piece and cut out the motif with the laser cutting machine, you can then sandblast the product right away.

Advantages of using laser technology for glass laser marking

No tool wear and tear

  • The laser beam does not wear like contact tools
  • There is no consumabe costs like cutters used with contact engravers

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Trotec CeramiCore laser sources have a long service life

No harmful dust exposure due to blasting agents

  • The glass surface is heated by the laser beam. Any fine glass particles are removed by the glass laser engraving machine extraction system, Unlike with sandblasting, no residual blasting agents are required.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Gases and particles are removed and efficiently filtered by the Trotec exhaust systems.

Top engraving results in record time

  • Custom made templates used with sandblasting are not necessary for glass etching with lasers.
  • Trotec lasers are as simple to operate as a printer. Do your designs in the program you are most familiar with and send the layout to the laser from your PC.
  • Ease of operation from single pieces to series production

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • JobControl® laser software: Intuitive software that makes you work more efficiently
  • Speedy series: Fastest laser engravers available on the market - maximum engraving speed of 4.2 m/sec and an acceleration of 5g.
  • Trotec has the largest product range and the greatest flexibility within the systems to provide the perfect machine for your business

Accurate contouring results in the finest details

  • Laser etch logos,  text and photos onto glass surfaces

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Ideal optics and beam performance

Non-contact processing

  • Risk of breakage is minimal as there is no mechanical contact

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • The rotary engraving attachment allows you to produce 360° engraving to maximise the engraving area and offer very impressive design possibilities. The rotary attachment is available for all platform sizes
"The software is user-friendly and the maintenance on the machine is minimal. Besides after sales service was a great consideration when we bought the laser. In the past 3 years I received help on the phone as well as remote access assistance. My laser was never down and out of production for more than 2 hours. That's excellent service!"
- Hester Potgieter - owner of Creadores Art and Craft -

Trotec product recommendation

Tips for engraving glass

Can round or conical objects be engraved?

Yes. Using the rotary attachment, round and conical designs can be engraved around the entire circumference. The JobControl® laser software is pre-loaded with engraving parameters. once you have measured  the diameter of your item and entered this value together with the height of the graphic, you are ready to engrave with your Trotec laser engraving machine.

Will glass break during laser engraving?

Small cracks can appear while engraving - factors that have an influence on the end result are  type of glass you select and the lead content of the product. The higher the lead content the more it will crack, cheap glasses give the best results. Each piece will also engrave differently. a good tip is to place a damp paper towel over the engraving surface- the heat dissipates better and prevents the glass cracking. 

How to get a clear, white engraving?

The use of a wet paper towel not only prevents the glass from cracking but also leads to a clear, white engraving result. The important thing is that there are no air bubbles or wrinkles in the paper, as these irregularities might otherwise be visible in the glass engraving. Please also make sure that the Air Assist is disabled, otherwise the airflow can dry the wet paper prematurely. Alternatively, you can also use masking tape. To minimize the effect of the heat on large surfaces and thus optimize the engraving result, the graphics should be converted to gray scale (e.g. black graphic into 70–80 % black). In this case, no wet paper towel or masking tape is necessary.

Photo engraving on glass - how to get the best effect?

Select gray scale rasterization with 70 % black; this means less heat is applied to the glass giving a much better result. Use a resolution of 500 dpi and the chose “ordered dithering” rasterization method; these recommended settings ensures the image data is optimally fitted to the material.

Can mirrors be engraved?

Laser engraving  on standard mirrors creates unique and highly decorative pieces. . By using a fiber laser, you can engrave the mirror from the top (through the glass).  Because teh laser beam of the fibre laser passes through the glass ablation occurs directly on the mirror surface. The glass itself is not affected at all. Glass only responds to the CO2 laser source wavelength.  Cleaning of the product after processing is very simple, there is very little dust as a result of the engravin and any residual material removed by the engraving falls onto the table underneath the mirror. After engraving apply acrylic lacquer to the back of the mirror. as a result the part engraved by your laser engraving machine has removed the mirror layer and is transparent. The acrylic lacquer colours are bright and shine intensely through the clear glass parts.

Can glass be laser cut as well?

No, it is not possible to laser cut glass.

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