*Designed and made by Garrett Fromme, IDC Woodcraft
Feb. 3, 2021
Most people don’t realize the true versatility of CNC routers. By looking at CNC routers in a different way, you can start to see all kinds of things you can do outside of wood carving.
When you remove the router the router from the equation, you have a CNC machine that moves around in 3 dimensions. What if you attached a pen? Then you could draw anything you can design.
This is effectively what you are doing with glass etching. A glass etcher is a pen on steroids. Only you don’t have to remove the router.
You attach a good quality diamond etching tool made for your CNC router. The tool below was made for this specific reason. It is a WidgetWorks 120-degree diamond tipped engraving tool.
There are a variety of diamond-tipped engravers. However, none are designed to work with your router like this one. The WidgetWorks diamond engraving tool has spring-loading allows easy adjustment to the applied pressure without fear of breaking the glass. It has a 0.5″ stroke depth, enabling you to engrave extremely fine details to being aggressive in your depths.
CNC Lasers are excellent tools for etching on glass. However, the power level to etch glass puts most hobby CNC lasers with this capability out of reach for most hobbyists. CNC routers are a big investment as it is. The WidgetWorks diamond engraver opens up their options significantly to expand their creative capability.
This video shows the diamond engraving tool in action, as well as why I purchased it in the first place. What I especially liked is the diamond dragging on the glass leaves a uniquely beautiful sparkle a laser cannot produce, which accents the glass engraving quite nicely.
This was produced on a BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC hobby router. This is the author’s favorite among all the hobby routers. To see how this is set up, click here. To see a good video review of BobsCNC Evolution CNC router, click here.