How does laser cutting and laser engraving of wood work?
When cutting and engraving wood and timber with the laser, high processing speed and clean edges are particularly important. Wood cutting lasers from Trotec produce a clean laser cut and accurate edges, even when working on highly complex object shapes and sizes. Time consuming and difficult cleaning processes fall away as no chips are produced when cutting or engraving wood or timber with the laser.
How can wood be cut or engraved with a laser?
When cutting or engraving wood with the laser, personalization and individualization are often most important: text or lines are applied to photo frames to increase their value; photographs or even logos can be realized with incredible detail with the laser. Hot stamping using a die cannot produce such accurate detail, nor is it possible to switch immediately to a different motif. Using the laser provides the user with extreme flexibility and the ability to refine the woods in a very high quality.
Does the wood burn during laser cutting?
In the cutting clearance of the material, the laser will produce a temperature increase that is higher than the sublimation temperature of wood. The "suddenly evaporated" – in other words: sublimated – wood is visible in the form of smoke escaping at a fast rate. This smoke also transports the introduced heat away from the wood. Consequently, there is only relatively low thermal stress on the material near the cutting clearance. By accurate focusing and selecting the appropriate optics and by supplying compressed air, high-quality cuts can be produced. The cutting edges with their brown color can often be used effectively in the design.
Can any type of wood be cut and engraved with the laser?
Since wood is a natural material, the laser user must consider various characteristics, such as e. g. the density and the resin content, when working with wood. Soft wood types, such as e. g. Balsa wood, require a lower laser power and can be cut at a higher speed. Hard wood, as an example of dense wood types, on the other hand, requires a higher laser power. When working with MDF, which consists of glued wood fibers, Trotec recommends the use of compressed air.
Do I have to fixate the material on the working surface?
No. The laser does not exert any pressure on the wood during the process; clamping or any other type of fixation is therefore not required. Simply insert the workpiece and start the laser process. This saves time and money during the preparation of the material. When milling wood, on the other hand, the boards must be clamped in position and must often be fixated by a vacuum.