Laser cutting and engraving wood

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

Laser process different types of wood

Trotec systems can laser engrave and laser cut wood items such as toys, arts & crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, gifts, architectural models and inlays. Personal customization options are often an important focus for those who process wood, and a Trotec laser is suited for a variety of wood types, with the option to create any look desired as well as cutting capabilities up to 20 mm (.79 in.) thick.

Wood types suitable for laser engraving and cutting

  • Chipboard
  • Cork
  • HDF
  • MDF
  • Multiplex
  • Natural wood
  • Plywood
  • Precious woods
  • Solid wood, solid timber
  • Veneers
laser cut wooden keyboard

See an overview of different wood applications


Examples of wood items processed with a laser


Lasers can process many different types of wood for a number of different applications, allowing you to design new products for a wide variety of industries. In addition, dark cutting edges and brownish or whitish colored engravings serve as exceptional design elements in wood products.

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

Watch video to see how a Speedy laser engraver can create a photo engraving on wood.

laser engraved wooden photo

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

Laser engraving wood offers the freedom of creating precise and personalized custom made materials, which adds value to any business. Make your products unique by engraving images, names, or even logos into your materials. Laser cutting provides precision to custom-fit parts within a tenth of a millimeter, even with small or fine shapes. Compared to other technology, laser systems save time and can accommodate even the thinnest materials with its non-contact processing.

Function and advantages of laser technology

Simple digital manufacturing

  • Create your designs with your usual graphics program and then simply send them to the printer via the printer command.  
  • Unlike milling machines, no time-consuming programming is required.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

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

Fine tools

  • Unique and precised shapes and sizes can be cut and engraved.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Ideal beam performance and optics 

No tool wear and tear on critical components

  • No wearing of the laser beam as a result of material processing
  • No additional costs for replacing tools, unlike milling machines

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • CeramiCore laser sources with industry leading performance lifespan

No shavings

  • Unlike other technologies, laser processing wood evaporates any excess waste and no shavings are produced.  

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • A Trotec exhaust system efficiently removes and filters out any gases resulting from processing.  

Characteristic and productive engravings

  • Add decorative elements with colored engravings
  • No additional time-consuming cleaning required
  • Unlike other technology, engraving can be achieved in a matter of seconds

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Speedy series: The fastest laser engravers available on the market with a maximum engraving speed of 140 in/sec and an acceleration of 5g. 

Non-contact processing

  • No time-consuming and counterproductive efforts spent on adjusting materials compared to traditional milling cutters  
  • No warping of the material

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Handling made easy with the multifunctional table concept.
"We really liked the features of the JobControl software and had heard that it was faster. Given the large volume of order we received, trimming 5-15% of time off of each plate allows us to fulfill orders faster and have more time for the large amount of orders."
- Bobby Griggs - go7 Gaming -
"The Trotec machine that we purchased is a very nice machine. We really enjoy working with it and appriciate how reliable and fast it is. IT'S FAST! "
- Carey Wilson - Specialty Engraving & Trophies -

Trotec product recommendation

Tips for laser cutting and engraving wood

Does laser cutting wood cause burning?

Yes. However, laser cutting wood is a sublimation process and is often considered highly desirable.  Laser cutters offer accurate focusing, customized selections of the appropriate parameters, as well as use of suitable optics and compressed air supply for cutting and engraving of the highest quality.

Can all woods be laser processed?

Since wood is a natural and organic material, laser users must evaluate a number of parameters including density and resin content prior to processing. For example, soft woods such as balsa will require less laser power, and cutting can be completed more quickly. On the other hand, hardwood which is typically a dense material will require more laser power. We recommend using compressed air for processing MDF since it consists of wood fibers that are glued.

Will the laser engraving always become dark?

Laser processing wood can result in a brownish-coloration on the material depending on a variety of factors. However, when processing varnished wood utilizing the appropriate settings can avoid this issue and a white engraving can be achieved. We recommend using a very low power at a high speed for this application

Can dark engraving be achieved?

Yes. Defocusing the laser beam to about 0.5-2 mm will result in the laser spot becoming larger, and the power density is then reduced. Some details may be lost in processing, but this method will produce a particularly dark engraving and we highly recommend trying it for thes types of applications.

Should there be smoke in the processing area?

Laser processing wood is a sublimation process, and since the material is solid it is converted directly into a gaseous state from combustion.

See our lasers in action! Request a demo now
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