lasercut-glasses_1Lasercutting projects may not be the sort you can do in the comfort of your own home, but it is worth seeking out a lasercutter when you have the right kind of project. In my case, I had access to one when I had a TechShop SF membership and I loved using it for all kinds of etching and cutting projects. If I ever have my own backyard maker shed, a lasercutter will definitely be on the list.

My most successful lasercut project turned out to be a large set of tasting glasses, most suitable for sampling beer. With a box of straight-sided glasses I purchased online, I was able to create six sets of glasses numbered 1 through 10 and etched with a 3 oz pour line.

Making these taster glasses was fairly simple with access to the right equipment. The key is a lasercutter with a rotary attachment which can smoothly turn your glass at a steady speed, ensuring a consistent etch every time. Once you’ve determined the size of your glass and measured the pour height, the design is mocked up in Illustrator. This file should look like you had sliced one side of your glass and laid it out flat and vertical. From there you can create any design you want.

glass in lasercutter

Next you need to warm up your lasercutter. The Illustrator files and cutter settings can be fed into the machine via a computer and the laser will etch each glass with your design. I found it easiest to do all the matching glasses at the same time since the machine I used remembered the last design that have been fed to it.

Once complete, don’t forget to wash the glasses before you drink from them. You don’t want to drink glass dust (or anything else that might be floating around in a shared machine). Next up, a party to put these glasses to use and improve my knowledge of beer.

You can make your own with my “Lasercut Straight-Sided Taster Glasses” Instructable.

Share your lasercutting and etching projects in the comments below or feel free to favorite my guide on Instructables.