Un-engravable Glass?

Hello, has anybody encountered a glass that just won’t engrave? I have been trying to engrave a set of drinking glasses for a friend but for the life of me I can not get it to engrave. The UV just goes right through it and does nothing. Before anybody start telling me to check my focus and set my NS to 1 and frequency to 40 that is not my issue, I just finished 100 whiskey glasses without an issue. It is just these particular glasses that won’t engrave. So my question is have anybody encountered this situation and have you figure out a solution that is not focusing, NS or FREQUENCY adjustments?

It looks like an UV-transparent glass. Maybe it’s silica (quartz) glass? (I’m assuming you’re using an UV laser; blue or YAG/fiber laser won’t engrave clear glass anyway, while CO2 lasers should engrave [almost] any kind of glass).

It is a UV yes. I do have to look to see if they are silica. I also tried to engrave them with my CO2 but the results were ugly, it did not microcracked like all other glass I have engraved with the CO2. it left long linear piees of glass, just a crazy material.

Then they might really be “quartz” glass (pure silica). I think they’re quite uncommon; I have some of them sold as “quartz crucibles” which double very well as expensive shot glasses… Their main feature is complete transparency to UV, and very high resistence to thermal shock. BTW, UV opacity and low thermal shock resistance are needed for UV (or CO2) laser engraving…

I would try this experiment: put a sheet of card/cardboard or other UV-etchable material inside the glass e see how it engraves thru the glass; compare the result using a regular (scrap) glass. This should confirm the UV transparency of the weird glass.

1 Like