Laser cutting wood - materials and tips
From a laser cutter point of view we would like to share with you some important facts about laser cutting wood based materials. Laser machines love wood, that's for sure. You can create a lot of beautiful designs that will looks amazing especially when cut from wood. Here are the five advices that should help you choose the right material for your project.
1 - Plywood
You may see no difference between plywood sheets but in fact there are. On the picture below you can see that easily. In theory, lasers can really struggle to cut the plywood sheets with exterior glue and at the same time quality of a laser cutting piece will be appalling with badly burned edges, leaving residue that is really difficult to get rid off from the entire material. In our stock we use only laser able wood sheets so you don't have to be worry about that.
Recently in our studio you can laser cut pieces from poplar plywood. Its a good alternative to 'panzer' birch plywood. If your project doesn't require to be subjected to strength the poplar ply will be the best for you. Its sturdy enough, lightweight and the laser machine can cut it faster, so you can save some money too.
Read more about plywood on our website.
2 - MDF/MDF veneer
The most common choice for laser cutting project. Its cheap, available in many thickness and rigid enough to create amazingly detailed architecture models, props, prototypes and many more. We use MDF ourselves to build the jigs for engraving or printing purposes.
On our 120W machine we can cut 15mm MDF which still will be cost effective. More than that CNC router might be a better option than laser.
3 - Veneer 'stickers'
We stock three types of veneer: oak, walnut and maple. Veneers are available in 750x300mm sheets. If your project require different finish than popular plywood we can laminate a double sided tape from the back of the veneer and stick onto MDF or ply and afterwards cut them at the same time. Also we can laminate other materials with the veneer sheet like mount board, greyboard etc. This give you even more option to finish your wooden project!