Benefits of Laser Cutting
If rapid production of your company's product line is important, then laser-cut wood may be a good solution. Traditional manufacturing methods are not efficient at precisely cutting or cutting specific areas of wood - which can lead to cracking or uncomfortable surface profiles - on the other hand, laser systems for cutting are very effective, but most importantly, very Precise. Laser cutting is simple, precise and saves material due to its precision, it can cut a wide variety of different parts, thicknesses and materials.
Laser cut wood
Different kinds of materials are available for laser cutting. For example acrylic, wood or cardboard. For now, we will be focusing on laser engraving wood from plywood/MDF. The process of laser cutting wood again involves the use of a high powered laser that is focused on a portion of the wood material. The density of the laser causes heat - allowing partial melting of specific areas and contours. In most cases, the computer will guide the laser beam by following a pre-programmed path.
Wood material for laser cutting
For laser cutting, wood can use MDF material or plywood material. Both materials are made from multiple layers of wood, making them sturdy materials capable of handling laser output. Below, you can find a brief description of the two wood materials.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
MDF is a wood-based material consisting of softwood and hardwood residues. These residues are then stacked with wax and resin binders. To top up these wood fibers, the planks are held in place with pressure. These panels give the MDF material a light beige panel color and a fine textured appearance. These panels also allow for qualitative painting work. The benefit of MDF is that, thanks to the blend of wood fibers, the wood doesn't split because the material has the same properties everywhere. MDF is also cheap because it consists of essentially treated wood residues of unused waste - at a fraction of the cost of the actual wood from which it's sourced.
MDF consists of multiple layers of wood fibers, while plywood consists of wooden boards that are bonded to each other and pressed together. Delamination is visible because of the alternating wood grain caused by the different planks. These differentiated layers provide many benefits to the material itself, such as water resistance and flexibility. As for our plywood at Sculpteo, we have the following wood sub-options for you to choose from poplar plywood, okume plywood, kapok wood and maple plywood. Each option has different layers to give your part a unique look. Click here to find out what the differences are and which one is best for your possible future laser cut wood projects!
Best Laser Cut Wood Projects
Of course, there are already companies and engineers who use lasers to cut wood or laser engrave wood! Below you can find some examples to give yourself an idea of why using laser cutting wood is beneficial for a specific product or project:
Laser Cut Business Cards
We've mentioned laser cutting business cards in blog posts in the past, but Studio eQ takes it to a whole different level. Using high-quality wood such as veneer plywood, the Studio eQ laser cuts company logos and graphics in the cleanest way. By laser cutting the cards, the company brings business cards to a different dimension in card design - making the company stand out.
Intricately layered laser-cut bracelet.
Artist Anthony Roussel was inspired by seaside coastlines and modern architecture when making these bracelets. The designs of these bracelets are so intricate and so detailed that this can only be achieved with the precision of a laser beam - not other traditional manufacturing methods.
Laser Cut Jewelry Components
Lucas Laser Studio uses laser cutting to create wooden gifts and home decorations. These products are custom designed using only natural elements and natural wood.
Laser Cut Wood Lamp
The Stanford Product Realization Lab is a teaching lab designed to allow Stanford students to try out their own innovative ideas. A student made this wooden arc lamp. The exterior of this lamp is laser cut out of wood material. The pattern of cuts includes slits that allow the plank to be flexible and thus able to bend. The bends allow curves to give this lamp its unique design.
Laser Cut Bamboo Bookmarks
Little Card Boutique is based in Australia where they sell these very unique personalised bespoke bookmarks made from bamboo. Yes, we know bamboo is not technically wood, but when pressed together it has the same look and feel as wood and can even be stronger than oak! These bookmarks are laser cut and can be personalised with name tags and unique designs, all made possible by a laser engraver.
Laser Cut Wooden Sign Sign
These wooden signs by Tigermouse Design can be perfectly placed in offices to showcase their branding designs or logos in a unique way: text can be in negative space! This requires extreme cutting precision, which in turn can only be achieved with a laser beam.
Unique wooden bathroom sign
Living in an age of increasing pressure to create unique (office) spaces, a bathroom sign with a laser cut creative design is ideal. Grayskunk Company knows how to use a laser cutter to interpret traditional gender roles in bathroom signage differently.
A laser-cut wooden tie
Yes, even in the fashion industry, wood materials can be used with laser cutters! Designed by CreativeUseofTech, this 3.2mm thick wooden tie is made from birch plywood. This designer really makes you think about the use of technology in a different way than you initially imagined.