Lasers and Chocolate

Bailey wanted to learn how to use the laser but had more of a sweet tooth than a project. So we decided to try out etching our logo into Hershey bars.

First attempt
First attempt

The first attempt we kind of just tossed the chocolate in there and went for it, using a file we’d previously used to etch wood. It ended up unpleasantly burned. We also didn’t pay too much attention to lining everything up square on this run, so we vaporized a small slice of one paper plate and etched a bit out of the one underneath it.

Smoky inside the laser cutter on first attempt

We also had a considerable amount of smoke pouring out of the chocolate from burning the sugar. At least it smelled fairly pleasant!

Ray focusing the laser.
Ray focusing the laser.

Let’s all thank Ray for our awesome laser cutter and the fact he lets us play around with it (and our food) for no good reason.

Second Attempt.
Second Attempt. A little less burned.

The second attempt we turned the power settings down by half. Still mildly burnt. Could probably use another halving. Tasted okay. The wrinkles from cooling were a surprise.

Toast attempt in the laser cutter

Ray got peckish and we had bread laying around so…. toast break!

Finished toast
Finished toast

The logo turned out fairly sharp considering the uneven nature of bread.

Third attempt. Image cutting reversed.
Third Attempt. Reverse image

For the third and final attempt of the night (for some reason we ran out of people willing to eat the stuff) we inverted the picture to see if we could get less wrinkling. Fairly solid no. The room was also getting warm at this point, so the chocolate wasn’t standing up too well anyway. We’ll probably do another attempt in a few weeks. There are still candy bars after all. We’re going to try fiddling with the power settings, different kinds of chocolate, and with chilling the chocolate pre and post lasering.

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