Step 2: Etching the "canvas" Using the Laser Engraver
As if melting and manipulating glass wasn't cool enough, now you get to use a laser on the piece of glass you've bent to your will. First use the tile cutter or other glass cutting tool to remove the cabochon you made in step 1 from the rod it was formed with. Leave ~1/4" of rod at the end for the later steps. Using Adobe Illustrator or your preferred illustration software import the design you want to engrave and embed inside your marble. Measure the diameter of your cabochon and make a note of this value. Now you must resize the canvas within the illustration software to match the diameter of your cabochon. Now you can place the cabochon at the home location of the laser engraver and print the pattern making sure you properly define the canvas dimensions in the print dialogue box. Be sure to align and calibrate the laser before printing. I also recommend performing a practice run first with the etching laser disabled (usually just open the door while printing) to make sure the laser printer is printing in the right location. Now you can print your design onto the cabochon and proceed to the next step.