U.S. Patent #8598489
Using Lasers to Mark Glass
Lasers are advantageous for creating marks on and in glass. Glass etching has it’s more utilitarian uses, like etching VINs into automotive glass, but it can also produce very complex designs on AND in glass.
Laser Glass Etching
Nearly any glass or crystal can be etched with logos, artwork, intricate lettering and more, and lasers accomplish it without masks or stencils. No waste, no consumables, no cleanup. In fact, in the time it takes to create a stencil, align it perfectly on the part, blast it, remove the stencil, and do it again, a laser glass etching system may have completed an entire batch. Repeatability is exceptional, with no chance of the misalignment of the mark. Systems can put the same mark on many pieces, like a logo, or unique content on consecutive parts, like the aforementioned VIN numbers.
CMS Laser has hundreds of glass etching systems in manufacturing facilities around the world, capable of etching parts on the fly, regardless of their alignment to the lens. Our “Vision Part Alignment” systems read the orientation of each part on a production line and adjust the etching beam to write according to that orientation. This increases processing speed considerably, allowing feeders and operators to run each part without consideration of “correct” placement.
Another advantage our glass etching systems offer is in etching round parts, like wine bottles, stemware, and spheres. Rotation of the part ensures an even etch from the stationary laser. The optics’ depth of field accounts for small variations in the actual roundness of the part and gives an even mark on parts, even when doing full 360° etching.
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Laser Etching Inside Glass
Adjusting the focal point of a laser beam allows the mark to happen between below the surface of the glass. It’s given rise to countless new applications including cooktops with easily readable marks for the appliance controls on a surface that is still completely smooth, and game pieces (dice/dominoes/etc.) that have no indentations. VIN numbers marked subsurface cannot be removed using acids or grinders. Those that design and manufacture with glass can imagine and create whole new product lines.
Talk with our Apps Lab engineers to see how our laser glass etching systems can decrease development and production time, while increasing part throughput and ROI or send your samples along with what you would like to do. Our lab will give you a no-cost and no-obligation