Can you engrave stone with a diode laser?

As the title requests, is it possible to engrave on stone with a 20W laser? Someone I know, heard I had a laser and asked about if possible to engrave a headstone for their deceased child? My first thought was that they might not be able to afford a formal headstone. I have not asked questions as its personal information on their part at this point.
Just today, I picked up some various types porcelain tiles to try it on. I’m thinking high power, fill mode, medium to slow speeds and multiple passes.
Anyone in here who might have tried this before and suggestions please? I know, a 20w diode laser isn’t the best choice but its all I have at this time.

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I don’t think there is much chance of doing this with a visible light ssl or diode. My co2 is not effective on stone to any usable degree.

It won’t do much on porcelain tile either, as it’s glass and just passes through that… give it a try…

There is the Norton Tile Method for tile, uses paint that contains Titanium Oxide (TiO2) that will leave it black when lased by a diode. Then you have to remove the rest of the paint. There is a similar approach with powdered TiO2.

Good luck


I think it depends on the stone type and color. I remember having seen pictures on Facebook of successful attempts, but I don’t remember settings or laser power (it was in a Sculpfun user group, so diode laser between 5 and 40W).
As usual - just try :slight_smile: It should be easy to find at least a few test stones outside :slight_smile:

Thank You both for responding. I will certainly give the option of the TiO2 a try. I don’t know yet what the stone color will be unless I can get this to work with simple tile first. I’m planning on trying different settings and most important, number of passes at various settings to get it to possibly work or not. If I get somewhere, then I’ll talk to the lady again and ask what she wants and only at that point will I be able to say what I can and cannot do. I’ve also contacted a friend who works at a place with a formal water-jet. It might be way too much for this but they are more expert than I’ll ever be.

I’ve engraved image’s onto slate coasters with a 10 watt diode laser. they came out quite nice, not real deep or anything. but I easily could of slowed it down much more than I did. Granite is probably much harder, but next time I come across a piece of granite sample, I’ll lug it home and try it. it would be pretty cool to laser my own head stone. the wife would probably be a little creeped out lol

I’m sure she would be. Just for fun, do or say something fun on it

Yes, you can

. I made this from a scrap of granite countertop on my XTool D1 Pro 20-watt.

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Very nice! What speed and power settings did you use? I’m assuming “fill” mode

I believe I did a fill at 3,000 mm/m @50% power with my 20-watt diode laser. I used a black lacquer crayon to fill in the engraving for the dark look.

Ok, thank you. I was intending on trying full power but with your numbers, I’ll try less by far.

That’s pretty neat…

However, I think I had imaged something completely different for a persons headstone.

Did you use a coating?


oh wow that’s cool. I was just coming back to post me playing around on slate, with a ten watt. which obviously is much softer than granite, but stone non the less

this was me messing around engraving slate coasters, back when I first built my 10 watt laser

Might want to invert the image…

Problem with slate, some get darker, some gets lighter…


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My intention is to try on porcelain tile first since it’s pretty hard stuff. Chose several different types including one with a glossy surface that I know I’ll have to spray on some tempura paint first. I might have to repaint numerous times for multiple passes but that’s purely a guess since I’m a newbie.

Porcelain tile is covered in glass. Even with paint to absorb the energy, it only engraves a slight amount. With a white background it may not be noticeable.

It’s going to be tough to repaint it while it’s in your machine, so you’d have to ensure it’s registered from the previous burn…

You might try one of the Norton Tile Methods. If you search on that here, you will find lots of posts.

Good luck


Noted and thank you sir

I have been etching in agates for a month now.The darker the stone the better. I paint the surface of the stone with a black marking pen. This will cut the glare from the polished surface of the stones. You can also use toothpaste to cover the surface. A white surface will not show the etching. I set the speed at 1200 and the power at 65 to 70.

Sounds interesting. I’m noting the various types vs settings so I can try my first experiment with at least some knowledge from everyone here.

I have done the powdered Titanium Dioxide method and it works well on tile. Somewhere on YouTube, I found a video of how to do it, but basically you suspend Tio2 in Alcohol and use a special sprayer from Amazon. It puts a coating on that quickly dries out leaving just the Tio2 dust layer, Works well and cleanup is very easy. The only bad part is the sprayers get clogged easily. As you can see from the pics, I still need to work on speed and power settings. I was mostly trying to prove I could do it. LOL

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