Did You Know YOU Could LASER ENGRAVE These Strange Materials? (Using Sculpfun S9)

"Laser engravers are getting more and more capable these days. I know what you're thinking, "I am not a maker, I don't need to be reading this." Okay, but bear with me for a second. There has never been a better time to get into laser engraving because the machines have gotten so much easier to use in recent years. You can find them for around $300 now. The future is here! Let's explore it together!

Unusual Materials You Didn't Know You Could LASER ENGRAVE With Sculpfun S9!

Affordable laser engravers are getting more and more popular and more importantly, more and more capable. With the machines we have tested, you can do so much more than engraving! Here you will see how to laser engrave some of the more unusual materials with our favourite Sculpfun S9 laser engraver!

For this article, we have used the newest and the best machine from Sculpfun – the Sculpfun S9. Its special ability is a powerful laser with a narrow focus point which stays focused on a great distance, allowing you to cut thick materials. If you are interested in technical test of this machine, check our review here.

Some of these laser engravings can only be done with the Sculpfun S9, since it hase the best performance of all the 5W laser engravers we have tested so far!

You can also read our article about 10 laser engraving ideas with the same machine.

There is a certain level of satisfaction that comes from making your own things. It’s the feeling of pride you get when you finish something and it looks good, or knowing that you can produce a quality product without having to pay for it.

If you like the video format, you can watch the video on Youtube:

1 - The Ceramic Tea Cup

The Sculpfun S9 laser engraver is capable of engraving directly on ceramic tea cups!

You an easily engrave a small vector image on a tea cup to make it your own.

The settings we have used for this material:

  • 300mm/min and 100% power

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.


Laser engraving ceramics produces very deep engravings as the surface cracks under laser light. The result is permanent and will not scrape off.

 

2 - Laser Engraving Glass

Transparent materials are very difficult to engrave with laser engravers. This is due to the fact that diode laser engravers produce laser light that is in the visible light spectrum. This means that whatever looks transparent to you, will not absorb the laser light and there will be no effect. The same applies for white and light colored surfaces. They will reflect the laser light away.

In contrast, the CO2 lasers wok in the infrared spectrum and this means that their laser light is basically just heat which absorbs in almost all materials. But the CO2 lasers are big and much more expensive than diode laser engravers.

For mitigating this transparency problem, you can paint the surface black with a cheap spray paint or watercolors, or even a black permanent marker just to give the laser light something black to work on. You can remove the paint after engraving with acetone.

Then you can get the results like on the photos below.

The engraved surface is similar to the sandblasted surface. It is a rough surface that is permanent and will not brush off as the laser makes little cracks on the surface.

The settings we have used for this material:

  • Fill+Line engraving
  • Crosshatch infill, 500mm/min, 100% power
  • line after fill (outline of the letters): 300mm/min and 100% power

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

3 - Making Custom Shaped Stickers With Laser Engraver

If you want to up your game with custom stickers, look no further!

With laser engraver you can engrave the text and images on the sticker and then cut out the ouline of your desired shape.

You just need to dial in the power right.

The settings we have used for this material:

  • text engraving: 600mm/min and 15% power (so it does not burn through the paper)
  •  outline cut-out made at 600mm/min and 100% power

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

4 - Laser Engraving Stainless Steel

Sculpfun S9 is a very powerful laser engraver that can engrave the stainless steel directly! It is the only 5W laser engraver we tested that can do this.

To demonstrate this, we have painted just a part of the engraving black using a permanent marker to see if there is any difference as the stainless steel is quite reflective.

And to show the durability of the engraving, we tried to scrape off the engraving with sandpaper. The engraving held up quite well! You can see the amount of sanding done in our Youtube video.

The settings we have used for this material:

  • 200mm/min and 100% power

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

5 - Laser Engrave Custom Jar Lids

If you want to impress your friends by giving them a professional looking jar of homemade jam, this laser engraver is for you!

You should check the cool tip in our Youtube video on how to align the jar lid under your laser to get a perfect alignment of the engravings every time!

The settings we have used for this material:

  • 200mm/min and 100% power, but I figure it could go faster than this and still work well

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

6 - Laser Engraving Granite Stone

Stone is something you would not think its possible to laser engraver, but it is and it produces great results!

Smooth and single colored stone works the best. The black color is the best, but it also works on some white stones. But it does not work on marble stone very well. You need to try it and see.

The settings we have used for black stone:

  • Photo engraving: 2400mm/min and 100% power, Jarvis mode
  • Tombstone engraving: Line+Fill, crosshatch infill 0.2mm line spacing 2000mm/min 100% power for fill and 500mm/min and 100% power for outline after filling.

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

We also tried to engrave ceramic tile and the result was also good: 500mm/min 100% power crosshatch infill with 1mm spacing and 200mm/min 100% power for outline.

7 - Making Stencils For Spraying Paint

You can download some stencil font like this one and easily make a stencil out on a masking tape or a piece of paper

It is a cool trick to make some awesome stuff!

600mm/min and 100% power is more than enough for cutting the tape.

8 - Laser Engraving And Cutting Real Leather

I had a old piece of leather which was probably older than me and I tried to engrave it.

Laser engraving leather stinks A LOT! You need very good ventilation. After engraving the pattern is a little bit burned but if you wash it and use a brush to remove charring, the finished effect is a very nice and deep engraving which looks awesome!

The settings we have used for leather:

  • Line+Fill, crosshatch infill 0.1mm line spacing 2300mm/min 100% power for fill and 600mm/min and 40% power for outline after filling.
  • for cutting 600mm/min 100% power and 13 passes for this old 4mm thick leather

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

9- Laser Engraving Chromed Surfaces

The theory is the same as laser engraving glass.

You need to paint it black first. Then, laser engraving burns away the shiny surface and leaves a very nice and permanent engraving!

The settings we have used for chromed surface:

  • Line+Fill, crosshatch infill 0.1mm line spacing 400mm/min 100% power for fill and 100mm/min and 100% power for outline after filling.

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

10 - Engraving The Backside of The Mirror

You can’t directly engrave on the mirrors shiny side. It is also not recommended as the light can reflect back in your laser module and can damage it!

Mirrors are engraved on the rear – grey side.

PRO TIP: You must not forget to mirror the image else the text will be backwards  on the other side 🙂

You can get a very cool effect if you put a light behind the mirror as the light will shine through the engravings making a very cool efect!

The settings we have used for laser engraving mirror:

  • 220mm/min 100% power

But you always need to adjust the settings according to the results you are seeing.

Conclusion

These 10 more of unusual materials you can laser engrave shown in this blog post are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with your laser engraver. Don’t forget to also read this blog post about another 10 ideas for laser engraving! After reading about these projects, I hope you’ve found some inspiration and motivation to buy one for yourself!

If you want to try out our designs we made in this blog post, you can download the Lightburn files HERE

If so, please do not hesitate to use the links provided below that will take you directly to each machine’s best place online for purchase! Thank you for reading this article all the way through–I know it was long but if you made it this far then hopefully there are some projects near the end that caught your eye or at least gave you a few new ideas on how to make money with these machines. Good luck out there, makers!

The Machine That Can Make This Stuff Possible

All of these laser engravings were made using the new Sculpfun S9. You can buy it by clicking the link below. By buying through the link, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us to keep this website running and provide you with all this content for free! Check out our review in the laser review section to get the discount coupon! Also check the links below for other vendors!

Buy Sculpfun S9

You can also get in at Aliexpress or Amazon!

You can also get the AIR ASSIST for US and AIR ASSIST for EU plug.

And if you want to upgrade your existing laser (Sculpfun S6, Ortur, Atomstack, Eleksmaker…) you can buy only the Sculpfun S9 laser head HERE.

Or check the COUPON PAGE. If discount coupon is available, it will be listed there.

6 Comments
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Nice article, thanks for your work 😃
    I hope that under “Stickers” you don’t mean vinyl (you better specify that!). You surely don’t want anybody to get hurt or anybody’s laser to be ruined, right?

  2. I have a S9 and I love it, but you are saying that nearly every one of these materials require the laser running at 100%. I heard that it isn’t good to running it at 100%, so who is correct???

    • Reply
      Hobby Laser Cutters March 22, 2022 at 18:41

      Running at 100% will probably not affect the life span of the laser significantly, unless you use it A LOT.
      You can probably engrave most of this things with only 90%, but you need to go slower. Our power and speed settings are not ideal and can be improved significantly with some more experimenting.

  3. In what cases, to engrave a photograph, it is necessary to convert it as a negative or reverse photograph in the software? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Hobby Laser Cutters May 28, 2022 at 11:46

      You would need to invert the image if a engraved surface becomes lighter colored than the non engraved.

Leave a reply

two × one =

Hobby Laser Cutters and Engravers
Logo
Reset Password
Compare items
  • Cameras (0)
  • Phones (0)
Compare