If you're like me, you would never think a 10W diode laser can engrave on glass. Of course, the melting point of glass is much higher than what this laser can achieve. Yes, it has a higher melting point, but you can actually still carve on glass pretty easily.
The way it works is that the laser heats the glass in a small spot. This then creates tiny cracks that are noticeable when you line them up in your design pattern. If you go slow enough, you can even let the top of the glass come off completely, leaving only a rough surface that breaks light differently than the rest of the bottle.
As with every engraving project, you will need the design you want to engrave on the piece. The thing to consider is that with glass you can't produce too fine detail. So make sure your design is large enough to be clearly visible. In terms of speed, I did some testing with my 10W laser and found that anything between about 100mm/min to 20mm/min should work fine.
If you go faster, you'll just get superficial cracks that look milky. If you go a little slower, you can actually let the top layer come off, which creates a slight depression that looks more like glass in color. One neat thing is that you can combine the two settings and create a two-tone finish.
I've seen plenty of pictures online before of people using lasers to make plywood "flexible", but I never get tired of it myself. So, on this adventure, that's exactly what I'm doing. It's actually not that complicated, mainly requiring many parallel cuts in the wood that cancel each other out.
What came out was amazing. Not only is it a little pliable, but it can bend a full 180 degrees within a very narrow radius. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, with everything from bracelets to full outfits.
I use illustrator to design my work, but any other vector editing tool will work too. After you have completed your design outline, all you want to do is find the areas you want to be flexible. For 4mm plywood, I recommend bending the wood at least 3cm every 90 degrees. Of course, in thinner woods you need less, and in thicker woods more.
Next you'll add a bunch of lines parallel to each other, with a small gap every 3cm or so. The spacing between the lines should be about the thickness of the plywood or less. Then make sure the gaps between the lines are offset so you get a pattern that looks a bit like an image.
To cut the chips, I use the standard setting of my 10W laser. These are 170 mm/min with two passes. I also turned on air assist and lowered 1mm between passes. For me this gave the cleanest results.
Of course, you're not limited to flexibility with straight lines. This basic technique of making hinges from long, thin parts can be applied to many more shapes. I've seen waves, flowers, triangles, etc. You can also play with the length of the lines, trying to find a balance between flexibility and strength.
Overall, this is a very interesting technique that you can use to give your projects a special spin. When you first see if it can actually be held in your hand, it's pretty impressive.
Acrylic material laser engraving