When it comes to engraving glass, there are a few methods available to choose from. These include laser engraving, chemical etching, and sand blasting. At Engrave-Danger, we have invested in state of the art equipment in order to produce the highest quality final product for your application.
This is our bread and butter. We have state of the art UV lasers and rotary devices available to ensure that we can get your logo or monogram placed exactly where you want it. Unlike other laser applications such as CO2, the UV laser actually ablates the surface of the glass, producing a smooth frosted effect that is unrivaled by other means. Other lasers such as CO2 lasers work by causing tiny micro-fractures in the glass to create an engraved area. This can result in small shards of glass being left behind on the object after engraving.
The downside to a UV laser is that it has a relatively narrow depth of field, meaning that if a glass has too many offset curves the laser can have a hard time maintaining focus.
We also have production quality sandblasting equipment at our disposal for the times when an object has too many curves or can not be positioned to rotate properly under the UV laser. We create high quality images in a mask material by either cutting vinyl with a vinyl cutter or by laser cutting a laser masking material. The mask is then applied to the object and it is placed in the sandblasting cabinet. We then use a high quality blasting media to get an even frosted look across the glass. When done properly this method produces an even, frosted look on glass that is of the highest quality.
The downside to this method is that it takes substantially longer per object than the UV laser, and as a result the per-item cost of sandblasted products is higher.
Another form of glass engraving is chemical etching. This is not a type we typically use at Engrave-Danger, however it is another tool in our toolbox. With chemical etching, a mask is again created just as we would do for sandblasting, however instead of sandblasting an acidic chemical agent is applied to the glass over the mask. It is allowed to sit for a period of time before wiping it off. The chemical hazes the glass in the shape of the mask, leaving behind an frosted area following cleanup.