Laser engraving wood requires using a quality wood laser engraver and understanding a few basic steps to start the engraving process.

ready to design
The design aspect of laser engraving includes preparing a digital file that represents the final engraved output.

These design files can be of two types: raster files and vector files.

Raster designs are bitmap images composed of millions of tiny elements called pixels.

These designs are used to perform raster engraving, such as engraving photographs, which involves printing designs in the form of tiny dots on the surface of a material.

Vector designs, on the other hand, consist of geometric curves based on mathematical equations.

In this type of engraving, the laser cuts the material like a hot blade and moves from one design element to another.

Whereas in raster engraving, the laser head follows the left and right patterns and engraves the desired pattern line by line.

In general, when preparing design files for engraving photos on wood, it is advisable to choose a close-up image of the subject with a light-colored background.

Furthermore, the dithering pattern of the image plays an important role in determining the quality of the raster engraving.

It adds ideal noise to the image and enhances the visibility of the sculpt.

Typically, a dot pattern or Jarvis pattern improves the visibility of the engraving and provides the best results for laser engraving on wood.

When preparing design files, overlapping design elements must be avoided to achieve uniform engraving without burn marks.

If being ready to design is not one of your forte, you can always rely on websites that offer free design templates that you can download and use for your laser cutting and engraving projects.

laser etched wood
Laser etching is similar to laser engraving, the only difference is how deeply the material is affected by the laser.

In laser etching, the maximum depth to which material is affected by the laser is about 0.001", while laser engraving involves material removal to a depth of about 0.002" - 0.01" Laser etching does not necessarily involve removal of material.

It can also be done by burning the surface without evaporating the material and discoloring the wood fibers in the desired pattern.

Typically, laser powers below 10W are suitable for laser etching wood, making diode lasers ideal for laser etching applications on wood.

Also, laser etched wood is mostly used for applications like printing images and photos, as these projects require more contrast than depth.

It must be noted that laser etching produces marks on wood with a darker base color.

Using dark woods such as walnut can result in low etch contrast and poor visibility.

Therefore, dark woods are not recommended for laser etching projects.

Wood is one of the most readily available natural materials for hobbyist laser projects.

Engraving is relatively easy, and using a good laser cutter/engraver can get you started making some lucrative laser engraving projects out of wood.

Laser engraving is an innovative technology that can enhance the value and beauty of almost anything.

Using a laser engraver to create small projects like coasters, name tags, key chains, and more can help turn waste wood into profitable items.

These projects are relatively easier to make because you can find a variety of templates online for small projects to start their designs.

Laser Engraving Glass Products