Laser cutting and engraving wood

Cut and engrave a variety of woods including plywood, MDF and balsa wood.

Wood types suitable for laser processing

With Trotec laser machines you can cut and engrave toys, arts and crafts, souvenirs, Christmas jewellery, gift items, architectural models and inlays from a number of different woods. When laser cutting and engraving wood the focus is often on personal customisation options. Depending on the type of wood thicknesses of up to 20 mm can be laser cut. When engraving wood, the type of wood is freely selectable as the engraving finish is important.

Types of wood suitable for laser processing

  • MDF
  • HDF
  • Multiplex
  • Plywood
  • Chipboard
  • Natural wood, real wood
  • Precious woods
  • Solid wood, solid timber
  • Cork
  • Veneers
keyboard key cut from wood

See an overview of different wood applications


Application examples: Laser cutting and engraving wood



When processing wood the laser is a versatile tool. For example, in the design industry the different coloured engravings which can be achieved (brown and white) along with the dark laser cutting lines can help designs to stand out from competitors. With wood you can design new products for a wide variety of industries, whether you are producing laser cut mdf, plywood cutting or engraving solid wood sheets.

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

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

Added value through personalisation and precision: Make each piece unique, engrave logos, names or images. A precise laser cut creates custom-fit parts with a tenth of a millimeter precision even for the finest geometries. Non-contact processing not only saves time but also lets you process the finest materials.

Function and advantages of laser technology

Characteristic and productive engravings

  • Coloured engravings as a decorative element
  • There is no need for time-consuming ""cleaning"" unlike with milling cutters, the engraving is achieved within seconds

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • Speedy series: The fastest laser engravers available on the market with a maximum engraving speed of 4.2 m/sec and an acceleration of 5g.

Non-contact processing

  • No time-consuming fixating of material in comparison to milling cutters
  • No warping of the material when laser cutting or engraving

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • Multifunctional table concept for easy material handling

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 with milling cutters

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

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

Fine tools

  • Produce laser cut mdf, plywood and other materials with precise geometries

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • High-quality optics and beam quality

No tool wear

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

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • CeramiCore laser sources with a particularly long service life

No shavings

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

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • The resulting gases are efficiently removed and filtered by the Trotec extraction systems.
"We use the Speedy 400 for a variety of applications in the prop making and set building process at Pinewood Creative. The Trotec machine has enabled us to stop out-sourcing work and increase the quality and efficiency of the things we make, whilst the option to upgrade if our needs change gives us peace of mind."
- Laurens Nockels - Head of Pinewood Creative - Pinewood Studios Group -
"Simply put, my Trotec laser has allowed me to fulfil a lifelong ambition and start my own business. It’s fast and has quality results every time. I’ve had the machine for two years now and it’s been running smoothly without any hitches."
- Mike Johnson - owner of Jurassic Models -
"The difference in the quality of the finish between our previous laser machine and our Trotec Speedy 100 is like the difference between a cheap readymeal and Michelin Star cuisine - truly amazing! The quality is more than 100% better, and we’ve had a great experience on the technical support and sales side."
- Lisa Ebdon - Owner and Managing Director of Hickory Dickory -

Trotec product recommendation

Tips for laser cutting wood

Does laser cutting and laser engraving wood burn the material?

Yes. Wood lasering is a sublimation process. However, this is usually desirable. Accurate focusing, selecting the appropriate parameters, use of suitable optics and supply of compressed air allow laser cutting and engraving of the highest quality.

Can any type of wood be processed with a laser?

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

Does laser engraving wood always produce a dark engraving?

The brownish-coloured laser engraving is well known. When processing varnished wood, you can also achieve a white engraving with the appropriate laser settings. 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, laser engraving wood results in a particularly dark engraving. Details may be lost however during this process. Try this method and see the results for yourself!

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

Laser engraving wood is a sublimation process. The solid material is converted directly into gaseous state through combustion. The extraction will filter the smoke.

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