Wood laser engraving and cuting.
A high strength laminated sheet material made from Birch timber. Both faces are grade BB which allows for patches and other minor knots / imperfections. Commonly used wood material for laser cutting and engraving. Bonded with MR glue line and known as laser plywood in the industry.
FSC certified smooth surface wood board made from softwood fibres combined with wax and resin. Consistent density and heat tolerance makes MDF ideal for laser cutting
A soft but strong wood with a subtle orangey tone. Spruce timber comes from coniferous evergreen trees and has a wide prominent grain. Grain Line runs horizontally with the longer length of the material.
Cork is made of the outer bark of the cork oak tree. It has a fine, closed cell structure and low density and provides good insulation for heat and sound. It is also non absorbent to liquids, dust or dirt.
Art & sculpture, Jewelry, signage, model making, light construction work, furniture and cabinet making, retail display.
Appearance and grainline
As a natural material, please be aware the tone and grain line can vary from sheet to sheet. Thinner sheets can also be prone to warping.
As a natural material burn marks are caused during the cutting process that are minimized using the following standardized cutting methods.
Compressed air (usually 4 bar of pressure) is used to prevent flaming, scorching and charring on the top surface. In some cases a subtle discolouration can occur around the surrounding area of the cut line (paticularly on thicker plywoods.) These can be easily sanded off with a fine grit wet and dry paper.
Very small flares can occur on the surface where the laser fires at the beginning of the path of a vector line / shape. These marks can be easily sanded off with a fine grit wet and dry paper.
On bottom surface burn marks may appear when the laser meets the laser bed. Heat from the laser causes residues on the laser bed to transfer back onto the material. If you would like to cut use backing to prevent burn marks on the reverse of the material you’ll need to specify this in your job request.
Cut widths & Kerf
The average cutting kerf (how much the laser takes away) for MDF is 1.5-6mm thickness: + / – 0.1mm , 6-12mm thickness: + / – 0.2mm, 12mm+ in thickness: + / – 0.3mm
As a benchmark, we recommend that minimum cut widths be no smaller than the corresponding thickness of the material.
Laser cuts wood with brown / black edge which is darker the thicker the wood being cut. The edge can get very dirty on wood thicker than 9mm and in some cases mark if in contact with the material surface.
As a natural material, wood knots and other imperfection are occurrent within the plywood layers. They are slightly harder than the plywood layers which can have an effect on the clarity of laser cutting. When the laser meets these knots, it can cause the laser to flair up slightly resulting in darker markings on the surface. Sometimes the hardness of a knot will prevent the laser from cutting all the way through the sheet. In this case we will need to use a knife to trim out the wood knot.
In some cases pockets of air around the wood knot can cause the top surface surround the knotted area to burn away making a slightly uneven cut line. Unfortunately this is unpreventable as there is no way to determine where the wood knots are situated within the veneer layers.
Raster & Vector engraving
Engraves with an excellent clarity. 0.8mm and 1.5mm thick plywood engraves with a black / brown tone. 3mm -12mm thicknesses engrave with a lighter more subtle orange / brown tone.
If you would like your engraving to be deeper than our standard settings, you will need to specify this in your job request. Be aware that the the higher laser power and slower processing speeds required can causes more oils from the wood to be released and therefore mark the surface. The laser machine extraction can also pulls these oils / fumes over the top surface creating a scorched edge appearance to the engraving that is stronger the deeper it is. Some people like this effect but be aware if you want to keep a clean result, it’s best to stick with our optimised settings.