Laser Engrave Glass without Overheating It

Richard Korbyl manages the family business, Columbia Awards, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has been involved with the awards industry for over 20 years. If you have any questions or comments, contact Richard at 1-780-438-3266 or

A technique for laser engraving glass is to laser glass using an 80% screen. Instead of making your graphics 100% black, tell your laser that the graphics are 80% black or extremely dark gray.

If you were to use a microscope, you would see that there is a fine dot pattern as opposed to a solid marking. Remember, the problem with glass fracturing is due to the heat. By using a 75 to 90% screen, the glass is not heated as much and hence, does not fracture. You are left with a smooth pattern with minimal shards of glass.

—Richard Korbyl, Columbia Awards

Another technique is to engrave glass with wet newspaper.