Laser cutting and engraving wood

for plywood, MDF, balsa and many other types of wood

wooden phone cover engraving

Wood types suitable for laser processing

With Trotec laser equipment, you can laser cut wood and engrave toys, arts, crafts, souvenirs, Christmas jewelry, gift items, architectural models and inlays. When using a laser wood cutting machine, the focus is often on personal customization options. Trotec wood laser cutters can process a variety of wood, from maple wood to teak wood, to create the look you like and can cut thicknesses up to 20 mm.

Wood types suitable for laser processing

  • MDF
  • HDF
  • Multiplex
  • Plywood cutting
  • Chipboard
  • Natural wood, real wood
  • Precious woods
  • Solid wood, solid timber
  • Cork
  • Veneers

Laser engraved guitar!

Check out how we used our wood laser engraver to engrave a photo of the great Canadian legend and icon Neil Young on an acoustic guitar. See the process and a quick how-to guide.

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Impressions


Application examples for wood processing

Applications

Lasers are extremely versatile instruments for wood processing. In the design industry, dark laser cut wood and brownish or whitish colored engravings serve as exceptional design elements in wood products. Design new products by laser cutting wood or laser engraving wood for a wide variety of industries.

  • Arts and crafts
  • Toys
  • Furniture construction
  • Interior design
  • Shopfitting
  • School supplies
  • Decorations
  • Gift items
  • Christmas decorations
  • Architectural models
  • Inlays
laser engraved wooden photo

Why should I buy a laser for engraving and cutting wood?

Laser engraving wood creates additional value through personalization and precision. Make each piece unique by engraving logos, names or images into your products. A precise laser cut creates custom-fit parts with a tenth of a millimeter precision even for fine shapes. Non-contact processing saves time and lets you process the thinnest materials.

"I used a CNC machine before for doing lettering and words and I wanted to try using a laser, the results were much better. Now I only use the laser for engraving my boards. It really improved my product and enhanced my work. I like the Trotec because JobControl is very easy to learn and use. I've got a Speedy 300 and 400 that I use for various sizes of applications. I do a lot of cutting on the 400, and the 300 I leave open for engraving and smaller jobs. I love the Z-axis, we would do different level products and it makes jobs of engraving the same products on multople levels so much easier. "
- Paul Szewc - Masterpiece Wonkies and Art Gallery -

Function and advantages of laser technology

Fine tools

  • Precise shapes can be cut

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Ideal optics and optimal beam performance

Simple digital manufacturing

  • Designs are created in your usual graphics program and sent to the printer via the printer command
  • Time-consuming programming is not required, unlike milling cutters

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • JobControl® laser software: Simply intuitive. Work efficiently.

No tool wear

  • No wear of the laser beam from the material processing
  • No costs for new tools, unlike milling cutters

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • CeramiCore laser sources with a particularly long service life

No shavings

  • The wood is explosively evaporated by the laser. No shavings are produced like with other technologies.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • The resulting gases are efficiently removed and filtered by the Trotec extraction systems.

Characteristic and productive engravings

  • Colored engravings as a decorative element
  • There is no need for time-consuming cleaning.
  • Unlike milling cutters, the engraving is achieved within seconds

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Speedy series: The fastest laser engravers available on the market with a maximum engraving speed of 3.55 m/sec and an acceleration of 5g.

Non-contact processing

  • No time-consuming fixating of material compared to milling cutters
  • No warping of the material

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Multifunctional table concept for easy handling
"The Department of Environmental design has been using lasers since before I started working here, I would say about 10 or more years. The lasers run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trotec is a really great company that makes quality machines but what makes it even better is that the support given to us is unbelievable. Here in Alberta, the technicians help us out endlessly from the most minor to complex problems we have, no questions asked. A lot of people often ask us how lasers compare to CNC routers. Our students use the Trotec laser to make intricate small scale models. For things like that, the laser cutter is the optimal tool, it lets us achieve very tight tolerances and executions for small parts. Both these machines work hand in hand, one is good for some things, while the other is good for others. "
- Nathan Tremblay - Workshop supervisor at the Faculty of Environmental Design - University of Calgary -

Trotec product recommendation


Tips for laser cutting wood

Does the wood burn during laser cutting?

Yes. Wood lasering is a sublimation process. However, this is not bad and very often actually desirable. Accurate focusing, selection of the appropriate parameters, use of suitable optics and supply of compressed air results in the highest quality of laser engraved and laser cut wood.

Can any type of wood be processed with the laser?

Since wood is a natural material, the laser user must consider a number of parameters such as the density and the resin content of the wood for the processing. Soft woods, e.g. balsa, require less laser power and can be cut more quickly. Hardwood, as an example of dense wood, on the other hand requires more laser power. For MDF, which consists of glued wood fibers, Trotec recommends using compressed air.

Will the laser engraving always become dark?

When laser engraving wood, the brownish-color is common. When processing varnished wood, with the appropriate laser settings you can also achieve a white engraving. Here we recommend very low power at high speed.

How to achieve a particularly dark engraving?

By defocussing the laser beam – about 0.5 to 2 mm – the laser spot becomes larger. The power density is thus reduced. With this beam, you get a particularly dark laser engraving. Details may be lost. Simply try this method!

There is smoke in the processing area. What to do?

Laser processing of wood is a sublimation process. I.e., the solid material is converted directly into gaseous state through combustion.