Forget Printing Labels For Your Bathtub Hooch, Why Not Engrave The Bottle?

[BlueFlower] sends in this cool wine bottle engraver. It’s a simple machine that reminds us of the infamous EggBot. One axis can move in x and z while the other axis rotates the work piece. The EggBot works in spherical coordinates while this one lives in a cylindrical world.

The base of the device appears to be an older project of [BlueFlower]’s an XY-Plotter/Cutter. The plotter itself is a very standard twin-motor gantry design. In fact, it looks like when the machine is converted to bottle engraving, the drivers which previously moved the Y-axis are re-purposed to move two rollers. The rollers themselves are suspiciously similar to those found inside 2D printers. We all have them kicking around our junk drawers, but it’s rare to see them actually being used. The spindled is just a DC motor with a ball grinder coupled to the end.

As for the final result, we have to admit that the engraved bottles are quite fetching. Catch a video of the engraving process after the break.

20 thoughts on “Forget Printing Labels For Your Bathtub Hooch, Why Not Engrave The Bottle?

    1. I guess it is cheaper to print on the glass directly then a label.
      Might also save in on paper and such.

      Though, if one does it for environmental reasons, then hopefully the paint isn’t one of those hard to remove ones. (Could have a paint that dissolves in alcohol, since that is at least easy to remove, or acetone.)

      1. If the glass isn’t tempered, it won’t go all into bits.

        But it’ll still crack if there’s residual stress concentrations, which is why I asked about annealing. Heating it up close to melting normalizes the material and stops it acting like safety glass that just explodes into fragments.

      2. If you have a rotary axis on your laser cutter, you can engrave on glass bottles quite easily.

        One member our space did exactly that with wine bottles for a friend’s 50th anniversary – the bottles were engraved with their faces and “50 years” with a nice border and all.

        …and in the process he broke about several of the bottles *in the laser* due to stresses in the glass.

        (It wasn’t champagne either – just regular old wine.)

        So, yes – this will weaken the glass. Do it on empty bottles first.

        1. Just watched somebody do this last night in my hacker space, Hack PGH. We have a rotary axis for the 100W laser cutter, but ive only seen it used once in 4 years. Someone was doing pint glasses on it, and just propped some wood scraps under the rotary tailstock to level the glass taper flat with the laser height for focus.

    1. Yes, but i really prefer handling some mechanical device or even a laser (with some precautions) than some really scary nasty acid… On the other hand, if you are into chemistry and can do it safely (including disposal of remaining acid), yes, go ahead.
      (HF=hydrofluoric acid. Really toxic and corrosive and nasty)

      1. I would put laser in the same group of nastiness, due to reflections.

        But the acid used isn´t the pure, liquid form. Don´t know how it is done in your city/country, but here they use it in a form that resembles tooth paste to etch the vehicle security/chassis number in a replaced glass window. Apply mask, smear a little, then clean and be done with it.

      2. I do a lot of stainless steel welding in my shop and, if you observe the basic safety rules, working with concentrated hydrofluoric acid is no biggie. It’s also easy neutralized and disposed of. If you have the proper equipment at hand, of course.

  1. engraving the bottle makes the glass weak it is like taking a glass cutter and engraving the bottle.

    just the slightest tap and the bottle could explode especially if it is under pressure

    1. I have quite a few drinking glasses with engravings on them and they don’t break easily at all.I also have a heavily engraved vintage “Pernod”-bottle that is at least eighty years old. It has a lot of nicks and dings. Didn’t break as of yet.

  2. Harvie is right, this is super dangerous. CNC cutters like this produce ultra fine dust, not only becoming airborne, but becoming caked on to everything in the workshop. Educate yourself on material safety, don’t get silicosis.

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