Laser Glass Engraving: A Comprehensive Guide

Why Glass?

Glass engraving, through modern advancements, has greatly enhanced glass processing compared to previous techniques. Glass is an inorganic, non-crystalline solid material. It is often produced by rapidly cooling molten sand, limestone, and soda ash. The cooling process prevents regular crystal growth, giving glass its transparent, glossy and brittle qualities. There are also colored glasses that exhibit color by mixing in certain metal oxides or salts, and tempered glass made by physical or chemical methods.

The laser glass engraving allows for intricate designs not possible with other old methods. Additionally, lasers vaporize material cleanly without cracks or chips. This creates smooth edges ideal for glass art, decorations, and transparent components.

Common types of glass for laser engraving

Classified by usage

Glass can be categorized based on its intended application, from transparent flat glass for buildings to robust container glass for storage vessels. The composition and properties of each glass type are tailored to its usage needs. For example, flat glass emphasizes visual clarity for windows and facades, container glass must withstand internal pressures and impacts, and optical glass requires precision optics manufacturing.

Classified by manufacturing method

Variations in glass production techniques directly influence the characteristics and capabilities of the final product. Float glass, fiberglass, tempered glass and laminated glass exhibit distinct qualities derived from their respective manufacturing processes. For instance, float glass has pristine surfaces protected by the molten tin, fiberglass has high tensile strength derived from the glass strands, and tempering greatly increases mechanical durability.

What are the popular glass products processed by laser?

Architectural decorative glass

Decorative laser glass engraving gives designers creative freedom to beautify living spaces. It can create intricate patterns and artwork on architectural glass surfaces such as windows, room dividers, and wall partitions. This provides aesthetic embellishment and decorative effects for interior design and architectural styling.

Automotive glass engraving

Laser glass engraving allows applying logos, stripes, and other ornamental designs to enhance visual styling. As it does not affect the strength, glass engraving decorations can provide unique styling touches and premium branding effects for car owners seeking to personalize their vehicles.

Artistic glassware

The precision and depth control of laser glass engraving systems allow us to create refined, customized detailing on glassware for gifts, awards, commemorative pieces, and decorative items. Laser glass engraving can produce delicate shading and minute intricacy not achievable by hand engraving.

Branding and product marking

Laser glass engraving permanently inscribes logos, serial numbers, barcodes, trademarks, and other identifiers onto glass components for product branding, labeling, and anti-counterfeiting. The durability and consistency make it ideal for these production line and product lifetime applications where permanence and precision are important.

Where to buy glass?

Glass manufacturing websites – Major glass makers like Corning have online stores where you can buy products for glass engraving directly.

Online retailers – Sites like Amazon and eBay sell various glass products.

Glass shops – Specialty stores focused on selling glass for different applications.

Hardware stores – Home improvement retailers like Home Depot carry glass sheets and panels.

Craft stores – Hobby and art supply shops have glass for DIY projects.

Contact glass manufacturers to buy bulk orders directly from the source.

Connect with glass suppliers and distributors who provide materials for reselling.

Work with glass fabricators for customized architectural or specialty glass.

Best laser machines for glass engraving

Most CO2 laser machines are capable of glass engraving. Our machines all have excellent capabilities and can perform stable, intricate processing on glass and various other materials. You can select the one most suitable for your needs based on your requirements.

If you want to produce glass engraving items massively, then processing speed and work area will be important selection factors. You may consider our Nova series equipped with larger work areas for higher throughput.

If you intend to create high-precision glass engraving items, then processing accuracy will be the key consideration. Our Odin series, capable of fine and intricate processing, may be a good fit for your needs.

Thunder Nova Laser Cutter

Thunder Bolt Laser Cutter

thunder laser canada laser cutter bolt laser cutter machine product photo

Thunder Odin Laser Engraver

Work Area 600×400 up to 1600×1000mm

Type RF CO2

Power 40w~130w

Z-axis 150mm, 230mm

The Thunder Nova is great for oversized glass engraving. Their big work areas up to 1500x3000mm, can easily process large glass sheets. Meanwhile, it delivers top engraving quality, with their hybrid motors providing excellent process details and precision. Moreover, users can upgrade to the RF laser tube for even sharper and clearer glass engraving. As a result, it helps architects with reliable glass partitions in large sizes. Designers can do elaborate etched patterns on wide glass walls too.

Work Area 508*305 mm

Type RF CO2

Power 30w

Z-axis 110mm

The Thunder Bolt stands out as a small glass workshop with limited space. Despite its portable desktop machine size, it packs powerful CO2 laser tube options plus an innovative air cooling design. This combination of robustness and agile size suits it well for uninterrupted glass engraving operations, as well as processing other diverse materials. Durability enables it to withstand shop conditions while the desktop form factor slots conveniently onto any tabletop without compromising on engraving area or tube strength.

Work Area 559×381 up to 813×508mm

Type RF CO2

Power 30w, 55w

Z-axis 185mm

The Thunder Odin leverages a high-precision RF tube and 3G acceleration to reach swift yet accurate engraving speeds up to 2,000 mm/sec. By combining dynamic performance and superb control, Odin creates smooth gradations and elaborate glass engraving motifs not achievable on less advanced machines. For discerning customers pursuing detailed engraving rather than mass production, Odin’s compact yet capable construction facilitates exceptionally refined glass processing.

Common laser processing glass parameters

Every laser machine has different optimal settings for processing. The table below provides parameters for glass engraving on some of our machines as a reference. We suggest first testing these parameters to check whether they are suitable before proceeding for a particular use.


Carving effect


Min Power(%)

Max Power(%)

Air Pressure Value

























This video shows the process of glass engraving with our laser machine. Check out the effects it can achieve!

Tips and tricks for laser processing glass

How to Laser Process Hemispherical Glass?

The longer the focal length, the larger the work area. If processing hemispherical glass, a longer focal length must be selected, such as a 2.5-inch focal length. Then position the focal point in the exact center, so the surrounding area outside the focal point can also achieve good glass engraving effects.

Pre-treating Glass to Prevent Cracking During Laser Engraving

When the laser beam touches the glass surface, the glass heats up and glass molecules scatter, especially the high-quality glass lacking a set melting point. Overheating causes the uncontrolled spreading of molten layers, damaging the glass engraving effects. To avoid cracking during laser engraving, glass requires pre-treatment to disperse heat buildup.
  • Using laser masking tape Put it on the glass surface and it creates a protective barrier. It absorbs and distributes laser energy to reduce localized heating.
  • Applying a wet wipe or paper towel It spreads water content over the area during glass engraving. The liquid disperses the beams and cools the heated zones through evaporation. However, it should be laid flat without air bubbles , or poor results will occur there.
  • Using detergent This is likewise an effective heat-absorbing pre-coating. After glass engraving, clean off tape adhesives and solution residues completely.
The key is covering only the laser-contacting face with these pre-treatments. Wrapping the inner non-engraving sides provides no benefit.

How to Make Glass Engraving Works More Exquisite by post-processing?

  • Polishing
    Use sanding wheels or polishing spindles to polish away the burrs and residual debris on the engraved glass surface, making it smoother and the cut edges neater. This can significantly enhance the refinement of the glass engraving work.
  • Immersion
    Immerse the engraved glassware in colored liquid, allowing the liquid to seep into the glass engraving grooves. When taken out and solidified, this can make the patterns more vibrant and three-dimensional.
  • Coating
    On the surface of laser glass engraving objects, spray coats of different colored paints or inks are applied in layers. This realizes diverse visual effects similar to graffiti murals.
  • Internal Filling
    Inject various small items such as micro models, mini toys, LED lights and so on, into the hollow and transparent laser engraving glass artworks. This achieves unexpected creative and artistic effects.

What do our customers say about Thunder Laser?

At Thunder Laser, our customers trust the quality of our machines as well as our customer services, which stands out from other laser companies. If you want to see for yourself, check out ratings on Trustpilot.

<h3>Why I chose Thunder</h3>

Why I chose Thunder

Nate Sayre
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I wanted to let you know why I chose Thunder so you guys can keep up the good work.... I did a lot of research the past few months. I joined FB groups for the laser brands I was considering, reached out to the companies for info, and studied the websites thoroughly. I will tell you that the apparent customer service is what really sold me. Brian, who is obviously a Thunder employee responds to almost every question I see show up in the FB thunder group. The amount of info on your website is fantastic and the owner community seems amazing. I haven't even received my Thunder yet but I am familiar with other lasers and confident I made the right decision. It seems like a wonderful community.


Donna Replogle
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I am so very impressed with Thunder Laser USA. This company is informative and easy to work with. The staff is friendly and helpful. When I email Rebecca, the administrative assistant, she response quickly with all my questions answered. She told us approximately when our Nova 35-100 would be arriving and she was right. Thunder Laser groups on Facebook is interesting and informative as well. I've learned that quite a few people are very happy to have switched to Thunder Laser USA from other companies. Other companies may have less expensive machines, but you get what you pay for. I have heard that Thunder Lasers are built better, sturdier and will last longer. I recommend checking this company out and seriously consider purchasing their products.
<h3>Great support and customer service for a capable machine</h3>

Great support and customer service for a capable machine

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I spent a several months doing homework on the vendors and machines in this segment and Thunder Laser USA kept coming out on top. Their technical documents/knowledge base articles are excellent, Brian's posts to the Thunder Laser USA YouTube channel as well as other Thunder owner's videos really helped me choose Thunder and finally speaking with Rebecca sealed the deal, she was patient, answered all my questions and most of all wasn't pushy or gimmicky or any of the other tropes that usually accompany 'So I was talking to a sales rep...' I can't wait to take delivery of my laser and I know their support team will be there to back up the machine if/when I run into any issues.
<h3>Amazing quality and world class…</h3>

Amazing quality and world class…

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Amazing quality and world class commitment to customer service and support are two of the reasons I decided to buy a Thunder Laser. When I looked at the other US manufacturers I just couldn't come to grips with spending 4 times as much for a laser that does the same thing that our Nova 51 100 does. The Thunder Laser USA team made the purchase process simple and painless and in a few short weeks we had our amazing Thunder Laser in our shop and running customer jobs. It has been absolutely flawless since the day we uncrated it. We love the ease of use, and the quality of the build is amazing. I work for an electronics manufacturer and when I opened the site panel I was impressed with the attention to detail and the quality of everything that went into our Thunder Laser. We have zero regrets going with Thunder and in fact are about to buy our second one. That's how much we love our Thunder Laser!

Contact Thunder Laser Canada!

We became reps for Thunder Laser in Canada, because we are makers ourselves. After using many different types of laser machines over the years, we decided we like Thunder Lasers the best!

Our team is based all over Canada, but our main location and showroom is located at Fuse33 Makerspace in Calgary Alberta. This means, all our members are artists, tradespeople and hobbyists. Our members use our Thunder Laser machines for a wide range of projects. We’ve seen it all!

Let us help you decide which laser machine is best for you according to projects you want to make, space you have available and your budget. We will also help you understand the features and use cases for all of the various add-ons and upgrades available.