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GLASS ENGRAVING which is best?

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Sandblasting is the best overall for finish. Rotating fasseted diamond is very near runner up followed by laser.


Sandblasting will take up alot of space in your workshop, with a large cabinette and a large compressor. Plus you have to make masks for all your jobs even if its a repeat order. All this takes time. Which I'm sure you would reduce with practice.


Rotating diamond for me is the best in yours and my Circumstances Martin, especially for text and small logos. As you have an all in one machine that does the lot.


Glass engraving with a laser....Hmmm. I haven't seen a what I would call a good job done with these machines, Although Andy may have something to say about that, as he said he has mastered the art of it but I haven't seen his work, so I couldn't comment.



Hope that helps.

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I'm lucky enough to have both Sandblasting and an IS400 for faceted diamond work, and I would estimate 95% of jobs are sandblasted for the superior finish.

Set-up costs to do it not that much Martin, but you've already got the IS400 so I'd carry on using that for glass and invest something else for the business.



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When starting glass engraving you use what you have - a manual machine is fine to start with. When you have built up your business and get computerised - then you will get your computerised engraver to engrave glass.


Lasers can engrave glass well - but you have to careful with fine crystal (glasses)


But the best way is sandblasting if you have the right equipment.


The bigger question here is what you are charging for it. Your diamond engraving is a one step process, but the diamonds are not cheap and do not last long with crystal glasses, so you have to charge more. Lasers engraving thick crystal or normal glass is a one step process, but the result is not as good so you can charge less.


Sandblasting using Rapidmask involves printing, developing, sticking, sandblasting and then cleaning off. Quite a lengthy process - but the results are the best, and you have to charge a premium.


Another question you should ask yourself is what space you have - an all in one computerised system maybe your only choice. Sandblasting equipment takes up lots of room.

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I bought a sandblasting cabinet and all the gear (set up cost £3,000 all together) about 2 years ago, and I think I have used my Gravograph machine for glass engraving only twice since then!


I agree that making the masks, sticking them on & masking the items before sandblasting does take some time, but I found the faceted diamond and the Gravograph engraver was very hit and miss, frustrating, and slow, slow, slow #-o


The sandblasting is by far the best quality, although it took a bit of practice to get it spot on perfect. I charge a premium for it, but I am really proud of the work I am putting out, and the equipment I bought has certainly paid for itself, not just in profits, but in time and peace of mind.:smt060

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You are probably right about text being quicker on the Gravograph machine than the sandblaster (although we are getting quite fast with the sandblasting these days) but I am lucky enough to have an expert hand engraver, who can beat any machine :lol:

I still say that the Gravograph machines are hit & miss though....

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My experience was always that the faceted diamond would engrave well in some places and then skid over the glass in others. I would always have to go back and re-engrave over some parts of the text or logo to get an even cut.


Then, get an order for a couple of dozen brandy goblets, and I would dread it. I used to engrave the top half on them all, then put them all through again at a different angle to engrave the bottom half, in an effort to get them all looking the same.

Masking this shape is also difficult, but I can make 2 masks and stick them onto the goblet separately, then sandblast it all at the same time. \:D/

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We have had similar problems in the past but seem to have overcome them, We have different springs for our feather touch, If its "cheap hard Glass" we use a stronger spring & Visa Versa.

We find there is a way around most things if you put a little thought into it.


Although I would say sand blasting was the best result for some things, I would have to say CNC is also very successfull. 8)

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You are right, there is always an answer if you put some thought into it.


That's why we bought a sandblaster.


We can now engrave anything, any shape, any depth of engraving, and I don't have to get stressed about it :-{{{


The only downside is the space the cabinet and compressor takes up.

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