Upcycle Your Bottle With Lasers!




Have a perfectly decent bottle (with a screw on cap and everything!) and want to give it a new life? Use LASERS! This instructable will show you the process in 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Prepare Your Bottle for Lasers!

Remove the label if you have one. Sticky residue can easily be removed with some goo gone or some warm water and baking soda. You don't even need to clean it THAT thoroughly because, well, we are going to use lasers!

Step 2: Measure Twice. Length and Circumference.

The title really says it all here, measure each dimension length and circumference, and make a note. One thing to keep in mind is where you want your artwork to be on the bottle, if it has a neck or some crazy curves it will be hard for the laser to be focused for engraving. The bottle in this demo is nicely cylindrical.

Step 3: Design!

Using the measurements from the previous step you'll set up the artboard for your design.The length of the bottle will be the horizontal artboard dimension and the circumference will be the vertical artboard dimension. Remember to account for the shape of the bottle and where you want your artwork to be. If you want to engrave text that wraps around the bottle you will need to remember to rotate it 90 degrees. For this particular bottle I created a wraparound so I made the artwork take up the entire vertical space, I made sure the artwork fit on the "flat" part of the bottle and stopped where the bottle started to slop down to the opening. I included the vector artwork files for two designs I created.

Step 4: Now Lasers!

To engrave round/cylindrical objects in the laser you'll use the rotary attachment. Set your bottle in the rotary attachment on the orange wheels so it can freely turn, you'll also make sure the surface is level. The settings for engraving glass for the 40 watt Epilog here in the MakerSpace is 35% speed and 100% power. Also don't forget to change the laser settings piece size to match your artboard setup (highlighted in the image). Enjoy your newly decorated bottle you saved from the trash/recycling bin!



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    4 Discussions


    1 year ago

    nice idea, kudos to the places that have free access to machinery.


    1 year ago

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to be telling us how to etch a pattern made in CorelDraw onto a the cylindrical portion of a Snapple bottle using a 40 Watt Epilog laser etcher - all of which are priced out of my pocketbook - except maybe the Snapple bottle. That aside, what is this supposed to do for us?

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I work at a public library makerspace with tools that are free for anyone to use. We love to share fun ways to use the tools in our space. There are many community workshops, library makerspaces or other hackerspace which provide free or low cost access to tools, hopefully you have one near you.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Please reread the 'ible. It clearly states that the author is using the laser at a Makerspace. Many public library districts are getting them. There, you can find 3D printers and lasers to use.
    Perhaps, I'm catching a different tone than was intended but, what do you mean "What is this supposed to do for us?"? This author just shared something on a site devoted to teaching others and making things. They have already added to the collective knowledge of the site.