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Engraving glass on a Mercury Laser

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by carmic76, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. carmic76

    carmic76 New commenter

    Just wondering if anyone has every tried engraving glass on a laser cutter.
    We have a Mercury 40w and the instructions say that glass can be engrave but I unsure what type of glass is the best, and if there are any Health and Safety issues.
    I have a Yr 11 who wants to engrave some glass vases.
  2. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    When you heat glass with a laser you create tiny fractures in the surface causing a frosting effect. It needs quite a lot of energy to achieve this so with a 40W laser you'd be running at around 100% power and 25% speed. Cheap glass is best as it's expansion of impurities in the glass that cause the fracturing. Lead crystal will retain the heat longer and can crack.
    As for H & S issues, you may find tiny particles of glass break away so avoid putting your fingers over the etched area. You won't get cut but you could accidentally swallow the glass particles if you eat something using your fingers. While engraving, there will be an intense bright light you should avoid looking at for long.
  3. Someone once told me and i have tried it to put a damp paper towel over the area you are going to engrave.
    It does work well, but the best thing to do is to test it first!
  4. carmic76

    carmic76 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice. Planning to have a go tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
  5. Hi there, Im new to forum's .
    I'm just wondering if you have had trouble with replacing a murcury laser gas tube. I think mine's on the way out and the replacement cost has gone through the roof. can you help?
  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    I suspect your Mercury machine most likely uses a Synrad laser, although they have also used Coherent laser tubes at times. It should tell you on the tube itself. The uk distributor for Synrad is Laserlines http://www.laserlines.co.uk/htm/corp/contactUs_info.htm who will probably give you a much better price for a re-charge than Technology Supplies.
    If you take a look at post 10 on this forum thread:
    there's some advice on how to fit it. The Mercury machine is made by GCC and sold in the States under the Pinnacle brand.

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