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View Full Version : Has anybody tried etching "QR Codes" (2D barcodes) onto glass



James E Baker
09-07-2010, 1:08 PM
I'm just playing with the QR Code system and I was wondering if anybody else is using it, and if so, have you got it to work when etched into glass.

Most smart phones can read the QR Code either off a screen or a printed page and present the decoded information. I can get the code to work fine when printed on to paper, but I suspect that there isn't enough contrast when etched onto glass.

For those that don't know about QR Codes (do a google for: wiki QR_Code). There are lots of free QR Code generators out there (do a google for: qr code generator) that will encode stuff like urls, text, phone numbers, etc, into the 2 dimensional barcodes.

As an example, this is the QR Code that decodes to my web site. It works fine when printed as small as a 1/2" square graphic.

http://www.fractalcoffee.com/webimages/qrcode.png

Dan Hintz
09-07-2010, 1:40 PM
Depends upon what you're using to scan it with...

James E Baker
09-07-2010, 2:02 PM
Depends upon what you're using to scan it with...
I'm really trying to come up with a QR Code engraving that I can put onto the base of "promotional glasses" that can be read with a smart phone.

Dan Hintz
09-07-2010, 3:07 PM
If you'll always be the one doing the scanning no problem... if it's customers at remote sites, more of an issue. If you have control, place a dark background behind the glass and laser with settings that create as white a mark as possible.

Scott Challoner
09-07-2010, 3:14 PM
I just tried it James. Like Dan suggested, you'll need a black background and invert the image but it did work. I engraved it on some scrap acrylic and placed it on a black part of my laptop and my Droid read it.

Scott Challoner
09-07-2010, 3:21 PM
Here is a picture of what I did. 160639

Scott Challoner
09-07-2010, 3:31 PM
Just tried it on glass, but it didn't work. If you filled the engraving with Rub n Buff I think it would work. I didn't play with the settings much so maybe you could get a better "frost". You'd still need a dark background though. Like Dan said, it may be too flakey to get a good read from different devices, but I think it shows promise.

James E Baker
09-07-2010, 7:36 PM
Here is a picture of what I did. 160639
That's not bad. My Nokia E71 phone could read the data in your attached jpeg just by pointing its camera at the screen.

James E Baker
09-07-2010, 7:38 PM
If you'll always be the one doing the scanning no problem... if it's customers at remote sites, more of an issue. If you have control, place a dark background behind the glass and laser with settings that create as white a mark as possible.
The problem is that I'm looking at putting the data on the etched demo glasses that I give away as samples. It'll be a case of potential customers using their phones to read the data.

Dan Hintz
09-07-2010, 9:33 PM
You need to use a relatively low dpi to get a good "frost" effect by separating the dots.