Instructables
Picture of Laser-etched glass art with hand-coloring
I made this partly at TechShop, an amazing place with several outposts in the US. It's a production shop with tools for metalworking, woodworking, industrial sewing, vinyl banner cutting, electronics and arduino, laser cutting and more: http://www.techshop.ws
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Etching the glass plate

Picture of Etching the glass plate
On this laser you can etch wood, paper, acrylic, glass, ceramic, anodized metal, chocolate (!) and more. You can also cut wood, paper and acrylic but not glass etc.

* I got a local glass shop to make me some 8" x 8" plates and created a 7" x 7" design in Adobe Illustrator. (Always get extra material in case you make mistakes.)
* I wanted to put the design on the back of the glass, so I flopped the design so it was backwards and would be right-way-round from the front.
* I put the design on a flash drive, transferred it to the computer attached to the laser and opened the file.
* I adjusted the settings for glass, hit Print and started the laser.
* The video shows the laser on a different project but you get the idea.

Step 2: Painting the laser-etched image on the glass

Picture of Painting the laser-etched image on the glass
paint-sharpie.jpg
* This is a picture of an etched backwards design, on a different project. This one is acrylic rather than glass. You get the idea.
* On the left side of the design I took some water-based enamel and painted with a brush on the back of the glass where the etching was. You don't need to put a lot of paint on.
* On the right side I used a Sharpie (permanent) marker.
* I did the half-and-half as a test to see how they were different.
* For both paint and Sharpie, it's totally OK to go outside the lines of the etching. The next step is scraping off the extra.
Mindmapper15 months ago

On acrylic I use a sharpie, rub it into the design, leave it to dry and then using acrylic polish remove the excess. I use this a lot when making enclosures for electronics where I need writing/text.

lime3D1 year ago
Which method did you find easier to use?
nginzler (author)  lime3D1 year ago
Both were easy, actually, although the excess marker was a little harder to scrape off the glass. It really depends what look you want. I like the more delicate handmade look of the paint -- the marker looks a little machine-made because the color is so even.