Laser Printing on Soap

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jcandleattic

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AliOop

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That machine looks amazing! If it can put a laser design on macarons, seems like it should work on soap.
 

msunnerstood

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Ive actually been checking in to this very thing. I have a woodworking friend with a laser printer who is going to test it on soap for me.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Our local fab lab has a laser cutter, but they are (rightly) super anxious about abuse/wrong materials/exhaust fumes. Even if they weren't closed due to the pandemic, they would never allow something like soap to be placed under the beam.

Have you asked a locksmith/key service? Some use a laser engraver to label locking system keys or for decoration.
 

Creative1

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I have a 3D printer that also does laser printing (not laser cutting, tho) I also have bars of soap. Maybe I'll give this a test try! I just haven't quite learned how to clean up the image so it burns as different intensities to make an interesting image. I'm wondering if it would just burn the fat that is left in the soap. I have tried printing on cork and paper. Should be interesting:) I'll ask the folks on the Mega Pro 3D printer group I belong to and see if any of them have tried this.
 

Professor Bernardo

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I believe the heat from the laser beam will merely melt and puddle the soap, not creating smooth, sharp lines in the soap.
In addition, the potential for nasty fumes in another item to consider.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Laser cutters don't “burn” material, they literally vapourise it. Look at some laser-cut acrylic, no trace of charring. Wood is an exception since the wood vapours are flammable and decompose into similar molecule fragments as with smouldering, that's why it smokes and smells like fire, but it isn't. Soap is probably somewhere in between. At short enough laser pulses (“low intensity”), the soap should vapourise just a bit and leave little fumes wafting around that could burn/turn black.

I have a 3D printer that also does laser printing
Never heard of that, but it sounds probably fun! Definitely worth a try, particularly when you have one.
 

Professor Bernardo

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Laser cutters don't “burn” material, they literally vapourise it. Look at some laser-cut acrylic, no trace of charring. Wood is an exception since the wood vapours are flammable and decompose into similar molecule fragments as with smouldering, that's why it smokes and smells like fire, but it isn't. Soap is probably somewhere in between. At short enough laser pulses (“low intensity”), the soap should vapourise just a bit and leave little fumes wafting around that could burn/turn black.


Never heard of that, but it sounds probably fun! Definitely worth a try, particularly when you have one.
IT was just me thinking out loud via the interweb... 😁
 

romangoat

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The original photos are laser engraved, not stamped. I ran across this creator on Instagram a couple weeks back, and also became really interested in the idea.

She tries to keep it a bit secretive now as to how she does her labels, it seems, but if you go back far enough and look at enough comments you can see where she has told people it is etched on. She also says printed sometimes, but I would assume she uses the same laser engraver that she uses for her apothecary jars, because the labels are more or less identical.

Either way, I would also love to figure out how to do this. It would cut down on so much packaging.
 

paradisi

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I wonder what the FDA would have to say about disappearing contact and ingredients information?
 

Misschief

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I wonder what the FDA would have to say about disappearing contact and ingredients information?
When soaps are labelled, how many people keep the labels? Usually, they're removed and thrown into the garbage. What's the difference, really?

The original photos are laser engraved, not stamped. I ran across this creator on Instagram a couple weeks back, and also became really interested in the idea.

She tries to keep it a bit secretive now as to how she does her labels, it seems, but if you go back far enough and look at enough comments you can see where she has told people it is etched on. She also says printed sometimes, but I would assume she uses the same laser engraver that she uses for her apothecary jars, because the labels are more or less identical.

Either way, I would also love to figure out how to do this. It would cut down on so much packaging.
We have a laser engraver at work and I asked my boss about engraving soap. He told me to bring along a bar and he'd be willing to try it. As for doing it on all your soaps, I would think it would be a time consuming and potentially expensive process, unless you have your own laser engraver. I can't see bringing all my soaps to work to have them engraved. A stamp would be cheaper.
 

Babyshoes

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When soaps are labelled, how many people keep the labels? Usually, they're removed and thrown into the garbage. What's the difference, really?



We have a laser engraver at work and I asked my boss about engraving soap. He told me to bring along a bar and he'd be willing to try it. As for doing it on all your soaps, I would think it would be a time consuming and potentially expensive process, unless you have your own laser engraver. I can't see bringing all my soaps to work to have them engraved. A stamp would be cheaper.
Still fascinating to see if it works though. Someone selling small quantities of exclusive, high end soap, who happened to have access to one might decide to make it a feature. 🤷‍♀️
 

earlene

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I wonder what the FDA would have to say about disappearing contact and ingredients information?
When soaps are labelled, how many people keep the labels? Usually, they're removed and thrown into the garbage. What's the difference, really?



We have a laser engraver at work and I asked my boss about engraving soap. He told me to bring along a bar and he'd be willing to try it. As for doing it on all your soaps, I would think it would be a time consuming and potentially expensive process, unless you have your own laser engraver. I can't see bringing all my soaps to work to have them engraved. A stamp would be cheaper.
Well, in the US labels on commodities are are required & regulated by the FTC, regardless of & in addition to what the FDA regulates, so both apply. So all of that information will still be required, including type size & so forth.

So the difference is, the law requires the seller to do the required labeling; what the consumer does with the label after purchase is no of no legal concern.

Reference: 16 CFR § 500
(CFR = Code of Federal Regulations)

More detailed information can be found in the act and here: 16 CFR Part 500 - REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT
and here: 15 U.S. Code Chapter 39 - FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING PROGRAM

This is not to say that laser printing or engraving some of the information directly onto each bar of soap is prohibited; it is not; but all other requirements must be met, and if the laser printer can do all that, fine. If not, additional labeling is still required.

ETA: My references are US specific, not addressing any other country's labeling laws.
 
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