Laser Cut and Engrave Wood

laser cutting plywood, MDF, balsa, teak wood, maple wood and various wood types

Wood types suitable for laser processing

Using a Trotec laser machine, you can cut and engrave toys, arts, crafts, souvenirs, Christmas jewellery, gift items, architectural models and inlays. During the laser processing of wood material, personal customisation options are usually the focus. Trotec laser machines and laser cutters can process a variety of wood types to create the desired look and can cut thicknesses of up to 20 mm.

Wood types 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 for wood processing


A laser machine is an extremely versatile instrument for processing wood sheets. In the design industry, dark cutting edges and brownish or whitish colored engravings serve as exceptional design elements in wood products. With such an amazing cariety, there's lots to design. 

  • 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?

Create additional value when laser engraving wood by means of personalisation and precision. Create unique items by laser 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. Save time with contactless processing and process the thinnest materials.

Function and advantages of laser technology

Simple digital manufacturing

  • Create designs in your usual graphics program and send 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.

Fine tools

  • Precise shapes can be cut

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Ideal optics and optimal beam performance

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 Sawdust is produced like with other technologies. 

Advantages of a Trotec laser

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

Versatility during the engraving process

  • Create colour filled laser engravings for customisation
  • Save time when cleaning
  • Unlike milling cutters, engrave in the shortest time frames

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • 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 compared to milling cutters
  • No warping of the material

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Multifunctional table concept for easy handling
"For us Trotec is the Rolls Royce of laser machines. It is always reliable and comes with an excellent back-up service. Our Trotec rep always keeps in close contact to us providing us with useful tips about laser cutting."
- Audrey Larson - owner of Unique Wooden Creations -
"We needed a machine to engrave onto wooden bread boards quickly. Placing of the boards had to be extremely efficient due to the volumes being engraved. The set up of the machine was done by Trotec South Africa so that the operation was simple and easy to manage. Installation of the machine was quick and efficient. Support has been outstanding."
- Steve van der Knapp - co-owner of Absolute Doors -
"Buying a Trotec laser was a natural progression over a number of years in which we were using pantographs and computerized rotary engravers. Over 20 years of excellent reliability track record of the Trotec machinery we owned, as well as second to none customer support does not leave any other choice. Thanks to everyone at Trotec Laser South Africa."
- Martin & Ania Ciolkosz - ImPRESSed Studio -

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 allow cutting and engraving of the highest quality.

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?

The brownish-colored laser engraving is well known. 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.

See our lasers in action! Request a demo now
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