Can you laser cut wood with a laser cutter? The answer is Yes! Laser cut wood is used for various purposes, such as for laser cutting wood at home, commercial and hobbyist needs. The process results in a flawless finish used to create incredible decoration pieces, signs, etc. Fortunately, laser machines are effortless and can handle various types of wood.
A compatible laser cutting machine is the best way to laser cut wood at home. According to your projects, you can go from low to high-power machines. Input design through computer and initiate laser cutting within minutes. With protective gears, accurate laser settings, and the right choice of wood, you can create multiple laser cut wood pieces at home.
What is the best wood for laser cutting
Before performing wood laser cutting, a thorough knowledge of various wood types is necessary. It helps to achieve perfect design and longevity. So, the obvious question is, what is the most popular wood used for laser cutting?
Here are the best wood for laser cutting:
Softwoods like pine, cedar, alder, basswood, poplar, balsa, and aspen are great options for laser cutting wood at home and commercial uses. They are less dense and, therefore, very easy to execute. They’re great choices for less-powerful lasers. Moreover, it’s affordable and light, and cuts stay for a long time. But, softwood gives burnt edges and is unsuitable for creating durable products.
Hardwoods like birch, maple, cherry, mahogany, walnut, and oak are popular for laser cutting because of their durability. Therefore, they need powerful lasers to create smooth cuts in heavy wood. Unfortunately, these woods are pricey and hard to find.
Laser MDF is a great choice as laser cutters easily cut through them. Another option is Laser plywood, which comes with a veneer and delivers smooth cutting.
Woods not suited for wood laser cutting:
Exotic Hardwoods: Exotic hardwoods, like maple etc., are very dense. This property makes laser cutting very tough, and results are not desirable.
Mexican Elder, Oleander: It produces noxious fumes which are not healthy.
Fiberboard: It is made from fibres that are glued together. This creates unwanted results and harmful fumes.
Also, while laser cutting wood at home or in commercial places, you must opt for the ones compatible with the machine’s power. Remember to turn on air assist to minimise burning edges and wear gloves and other protective gear to avoid fumes. A well-ventilated working space is highly recommended.
The best laser or laser cutter used for cutting wood
There are diodes and CO2 lasers for cutting wood. The diode lasers are great for etching, engraving, and cutting light wood. But, to perform laser cutting on all types of products, CO2 lasers are the best.
The CO2 laser is available in various sizes and powers and suits individual needs. So whether you need it for commercial, industry or hobbyist use, you can get the ones which suit you. The lasers are filled with CO2, producing an intense infrared light beam. In addition, the glass tube filled with C02 comes in various lengths.
The question that must be striking you is what size laser to cut wood. For cutting wood, 30 to 120 W is sufficient. So, how thick can laser cut wood depends on the following:
- ~30W can cut 2-3 mm with 1-3 passes
- ~40W cuts 4-5 mm with 1-3 passes
- 50-60W will efficiently cut 5-7 mm with 1-3 passes
- 80W cuts 8-9 mm with 1-3 passes
- 100W can cut 10-12mm with 1-3 passes
- 130W can cut 13-14mm with 1-3 passes
To help cut cleaner it is advisable to cut with a compressor. This additional air flow will help prevent burnt edges & can help cut through thicker wood.
Start laser cutting your wood projects
Laser cut wood projects have undoubtedly become straightforward with the help of a wood laser cutting machine. First, you must choose the right wood according to your requirements. Hardwood is great for durability and powerful machines, whereas softwoods are easy to handle but a little delicate.
While laser cutting wood at home or any place, always wear a helmet, mask, and gloves while performing the process. The use of air assist and working in a ventilated area is recommended. You can achieve amazing results with the right laser settings, wood, and proper safety gear. It will avoid burning edges, fumes and unwanted results. So, try wood laser cutting now to create awesome articles!