How to Engrave on Viral Pencil Pouches with Your Laser Cutter
Have you come across those trendy silicone pencil pouches flooding social media? They’re all the rage, with parents personalizing them using laser cutters to engrave their kids’ names. The only problem is that there isn’t a centralized resource that compiles all the necessary information to make the engraving process easier for everyone. As someone who loves sharing knowledge, I’m here to show you precisely how to engrave on these viral pencil pouches with your laser cutter or at least help you get started.
Where to Find the Perfect Pencil Pouches
Before we delve into the engraving process, let’s discuss where you can find these adorable jelly pencil bags. Target is a great place to start; usually, they are in the back-to-school section. Additionally, they are available online from their website but be prepared for multiple shipments at different times due to inventory distribution.
Learning the Proper Settings for Your Laser Machine
Engraving on silicone pencil pouches requires getting the right settings on your laser machine. To help you with this, I’ve compiled a video demonstrating how I use my Aeon Mira 9, 90-watt machine for engraving. But that’s not all; I’ve also gathered settings from various machines to assist others in starting their engraving journey.
To build a collaborative resource, I’ve created a Google form where you can input your engraving settings. These settings will be automatically compiled into a view-only spreadsheet for everyone to review and use as a starting point. Working together as a community will undoubtedly benefit all engraving enthusiasts with different laser machines in the market.
Positioning Your Pencil Case on the Laser Bed
To ensure a successful engraving, it’s crucial to position your pencil case correctly on the laser bed.
For the round crayon-style cases, flattening them out on the laser bed works best. I’ve used pins that I cut with my laser to achieve this, and you can find similar tools on Etsy or in various Facebook groups. I did purchase these pins for the Mira 9 by Szuch Design are 3d printed and I hope they hold up better than wood ones.
For pencil-style cases, getting a flat surface can be more challenging. I found success by placing a towel inside the pouch, adding a strong magnet to the bottom, and securing it on the honeycomb bed.
If you have a Glowforge or a different machine, you may need to explore alternative methods, such as magnets, clips, or duct tape.
Some things I’ve seen other use include cans of food, a pool noodle, and a piece of scrap wood.
Optimizing Focus and Framing Your Design
Before engraving, I recommend doing an autofocus and setting the Z axes to the appropriate height. A defocus will provide a cleaner look, especially if you encounter bumpy outputs. I will move the Z axis to 79.3 mm with my Mira 9. Experimenting with different focal points on a test piece will help you find the ideal settings.
Using Lightburn and Entering Settings
In my case, I use Lightburn software to control my laser machine. I’ve found success with the following settings:
- Speed: 335
- Max Power: 50
- Min Power: 45
- 400 LPI.
Once you’ve entered your settings, you can frame out your design after setting an origin point and make any necessary adjustments to center it perfectly.
Again, try looking to see if there are starting settings entered, if not, please share this post with your laser groups to get others to share their settings:
Experimenting with Different Settings
Trying out different settings is part of the process. For instance, when I attempted engraving on a pink pouch without stuffing it, I used someone else’s settings: Speed: 350, Max Power: 48, Min Power: 38, and 750 LPI. However, I encountered some bumps in my engraving due to focus issues. Remember, results may vary, so be open to adjusting and refining your settings.
Some people prefer a camera, but I know that when you do that with, say the Glowforge, it’s not always exact. Also, making a jig might be helpful. If you have made a jig and want me to link it, please message me!
Choosing the Right Font
To achieve the best results, opt for thinner fonts like Ostrich Sans or Saturday Brunch. They tend to work better, especially on pink pouches. Thicker fonts may not yield as clean and precise engravings.
Cleaning Your Engraved Pencil Pouch
Once you’re done engraving, it’s time to clean your pencil pouch. Work on it right away before it cools down to avoid debris fusing to the surface. Using a toothbrush with Dawn and Soap works well to remove loose silicone. If needed, you can use Goof-off or other degreasers, WD40, or vegetable oil for stubborn debris.
Share Your Knowledge and Learn from Others
If you’ve discovered successful engraving settings or cleaning tips, don’t hesitate to share them with the community. Input your findings in the Google form we’ve created, and let’s continue building this collective resource.
Engraving on viral pencil pouches is a fun and creative way to personalize your kids’ school supplies. You can achieve remarkable results with the right tools, settings, and community support. Remember to experiment, learn from others, and contribute your knowledge to help everyone get a head start on their engraving journey.
With your laser cutter and our collective knowledge, the possibilities for customizing these adorable silicone pencil pouches are endless!