Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-05-2004, 12:11 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,347
How do they make those 3D laser-etched paperweights?

Like this one

If you haven't seen them, these are intricate, full 3D figures that appear to float inside a block of crystal. When lit from below, they appear almost holographic.

I know lasers are used, but I can't grasp how 3D figure is created inside a solid block of glass. How can a laser be focussed to create a point of opacity? Wouldn't the beam pass through all parts of the glass equally?

Anybody know more about how this is done?
Old 12-05-2004, 12:20 AM
Desmostylus Desmostylus is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,539
It's done using a conical beam. The glass only gets hot enough to fracture at the "point" of the cone.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017