Best Wood for Laser Cutting and Engraving
Besides being an easy-to-work material, wood also has great aesthetic appeal. Different kinds of wood look different and have properties that make them suitable for a variety of applications.
Many different types of wood can be cut or engraved with a laser cutter. Some are easy to use, while others require a powerful laser to cut.
I'll detail some of the best woods you can laser cut and engrave to create beautiful projects.
Whether the wood you're cutting is hardwood or softwood, the thickness of the wood is the biggest difference between laser cutting or engraving.
The resin or sap content in the wood is the main parameter to study in laser cutting. Wood with higher resin content cuts darker and vice versa.
You need to use the short throw G2 lens to cut wood as it provides a smaller laser spot, closer to 0.1mm - 0.15mm. It helps concentrate all the energy of the laser in a tiny spot for efficient cutting.
Most engineered woods out there are glued together to achieve a layered structure. When cutting with a laser cutter, glue can melt, burn, and can cause various problems.
Additionally, engineered wood like MDF can contain sand and metal particles, which can cause problems when cutting with a laser.
When working with engineered wood, try wood made for laser engravers and cutters. You must also understand laser safety risks, hazards, and controls when using lasers to cut wood.
Connecting an air assist to the laser is beneficial when vector cutting because it is important to keep the fumes away from the laser beam, and even more so with visible laser cutters.
Using air assist can also put out any fires that arise while working with wood. I recommend having a fire extinguisher nearby as it will be a great help in the event of a fire.
A continuous blast of air onto the work surface will remove ash trapped deep in the cut, thereby removing charred areas of the wood.
Ash is a good insulator, so the more burning ashes you take out of your cutout pocket, the more drop cuts you get.
There are several wood laser engravers and laser cutters that offer good performance when dealing with wooden workpieces.
Low particle density wood is easy to work with. As you read the rest of this article, you will discover which wood is right for your application.