8 Awesome Laser Engraving Projects
Laser cutting and engraving technology have been around for over 50 years, but only recently have they been a viable part of the home workshop, giving people everywhere the opportunity to create and manufacture something brand new. Getting involved is a different matter, and if you’re new to laser printing, digital design, or both, the process of designing your dreams can seem intimidating at first.
If the thought of designing and printing your own unique ideas onto a variety of materials with unbeatable precision and accuracy appeals to you, this article is a great starting point for getting involved in laser printing. We’re offering up our list of the top coolest engraving projects, and the selections we’ve made are all great projects for beginners.
If your dream is to design furniture, jewelry, or something totally different, these cool project ideas will get your feet wet in digital design and printing, and give you a concrete foundation in how the process works so you can advance to more complicated projects in the future.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the simplest and coolest projects that you can do with laser engraving. Once you get a project or two under your belt, you’ll realize that there’s no limit to what you can design, manufacture and achieve with laser engraving.
Design Paper Artwork
Paper is a great traditional medium for art and design. It’s low-cost, comes in every color, and can be used in a variety of applications. One of the best ways to get started in laser printing is by creating wall art for your home. You can use laser engraving to cut intricate designs into a single sheet of paper based on a digital design of your own creation, and you’ll achieve much greater precision than you could with scissors or even a penknife in the most delicate hands.
For a bigger challenge, create a design that incorporates several layers and use different colored paper for each layer. Remember, you can choose any picture frame to contain your design, so choose one that naturally complements the look you’re going for.
Engrave a Custom Collar for Your Puppy
Every dog needs a collar, and if you’ve got your own puppy at home, why not custom engrave a collar for him based on your own specifications? You can include information about your pet such as their name, address, birthday, and your phone number, in case your dog runs off and is found by a stranger. If your dog has special medical needs, this information can be engraved on their collar as an additional safety measure.
Laser engraving works on a simple metallic buckle or a metal tag that hangs from a secured collar.
Design Ornaments for Your Holiday Tree
With Christmas just around the corner, creating holiday ornaments is a great opportunity to try your hand at laser engraving. You can use them to decorate your own tree, but they also make a fantastic gift for folks at your office, or a parent or family member. Use design software to create a snowflake or Christmas tree partner and a laser cutter to print your design onto white or green acrylic. The result is a beautiful and eye-catching geometric snowflake ornament that will hang on your tree year after year.
We always recommend projects like this for those new to digital design because symmetrical and geometrical designs of familiar shapes are the easiest to create.
Create Incredible 3D Cartography with Laser Engraving
With the ability to capture every cliff and crag, 3D mapping with laser engraving produces incredibly accurate and realistic coastal or topographical landscape designs. The best thing about designing intricate maps is that all of the design information already exists. You can use Google Earth’s satellite imagery to inform your design patterns, or look for topographical maps of the desired region in a book or other resource – the only thing left is to translate them into a design file that the laser engraver can read.
You can create 3D maps by printing maps in layers and setting them on top of each other to bring the entire landscape to life.
Engrave Business Cards on the Medium of Your Choice
If you’re into networking, you’ve probably collected loads of business cards from folks that you never call – what can you do to make your business card stand out?
Customized business cards are great conversation starters and are guaranteed to garner you positive attention at networking events. If you’re an aspiring 3D artist or designer, why not have a business card that doubles as a work sample, especially if you’re offering the same services for others?
Engraved business cards are cheap to produce in bulk, and work on a variety of mediums – balsa wood, cardstock, paper, and acrylic are all great options. Design your own with all of your important information on it and you’ll make an excellent first impression the next time you pass one out.
Get the Kids Involved with Custom Engraved Refrigerator Magnets
Looking for a laser engraving project that involves the whole family? Take individual or group photos with the whole family and use your favorite design software to create custom frames out of acrylic or a softer material like felt. Get the kids involved by having them pick their favorite shapes or cartoon characters to outline their picture. You can even engrave information like the date the picture was taken and the location onto the frame, so you always retain those special memories.
Once you’re finished, a dab of glue and a magnet lets you turn these cute frames into fridge magnets that provide a lifetime of memories.
Design Cool Greeting Cards for Any Occasion
Whether it’s a wedding invitation, custom-designed Christmas cards for your family and friends, or a Birthday card for someone special in your life, laser-cut greeting cards are a beautiful and memorable means of commemorating any occasion.
Snowflakes, Christmas trees, Birthday Balloons, cakes, or candles, and Anniversary rings are all incredibly easy to design using Adobe Illustrator, and they look incredible when laser cut into your favorite color of paper for the cover of a greeting card that you made yourself. Best of all, you’ll be creating something totally original, and your loved ones will appreciate the time, thought, and effort that went into making their special occasion just a bit more special.
Design Your Own Engraved Coasters for a Great Conversation Starter
Everyone uses coasters in their home, why not design and engrave your own? Engraved coasters make a great conversation piece – they’re sure to spark up a conversation the next time you have friends over for coffee or drinks, and they’re beyond easy to create. Start with a square or circular template and design them however you want – graphics, text, geometric designs, or whatever matches your living room are all fantastic ideas.
The best thing about this project is that the possibilities are endless. Designs can range from highly complex to totally simple, and any material can be used – wood, acrylic, glass, stone, tile, or even leather. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something totally different!
Whether you’re experienced with laser engraving, relatively new, or just looking to get your feet wet, there’s no need to be intimidated by this new technology. Laser cutting and engraving empowers you to be creative however you like and get fantastic results that you can take home for yourself, give away to friends, or even sell for a profit. Try one of our suggested projects for a simple start in laser engraving, or come up with your own!