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Can you cut wood with a Laser Cutter?

The short answer, yes.  There are a lot of factors that go into cutting wood with a laser cutter.  Power of laser, types of wood, and material thickness are some of the main variables for cutting materials with a laser cutter.

Laser cutting is a useful technique developed in the 1970’s. Laser cutting has remained a popular method for cutting all types of material, including wood, some metals, and plastics. The laser head moves across flat material to make precise cuts.

Cutting wood with a laser cutter is simple, however a few things should be taken into consideration. These include the type of laser cutter, the type of wood and thickness of the wood.

Wood is a good material for laser cutting due to its strength and ease. Wood can be easily cut with a laser cutter. Wood provides many benefits such as easy storage, affordability and versatility.

Laser Power

The power of the laser cutter will determine how effective it is. Most laser cutters have around 50 watts of power. This is sufficient for cutting most materials such as wood, metal and plastic. The higher wattage, the more powerful the laser cutter will be. Laser cutters should be anywhere from 30 watts to 50 watts for best results.

Different Types of Wood

A laser cutter can be used to cut many different types of wood, however not all types are suitable for laser cutting. The varieties that work best with laser cutting including oak, basswood and alder.

Can you cut wood with a laser cutter

Material Thickness

The wood should be of a certain thickness to avoid issues. Laser cutters can cut wood and other materials at 3/4 inch (20mm) thick. It is important to keep the thickness of wood 3/4 inches (20mm) or under. If wood is too thick, it will not cut smooth. It is very important to keep wood thickness at the recommended levels to avoid complications with your laser cutter.   The thicker the material the longer your laser will take.

Laser Cutting vs. Engraving

There are a few main differences between laser cutting and engraving. The main difference between a laser cutter and engraver is the lens. The lens on the engraver has a shorter focal length. This enables detail to be finer when using the engraver.

Laser cutters have a longer focal length. This enables laser cutters to cut through thicker materials easier. Laser cutters are better able to cut through rougher, thicker materials such as wood.

Different Machines

There are numerous types of laser cutters. It is important to select the right type of laser cutter for your specific needs. Laser cutters are divided into a few types. They include metal laser cutters. wood laser cutters, fabric laser cutters, leather laser cutters, paper laser cutters and acrylic laser cutters.

Overall Summary

The answer to this question is yes, you can cut wood with a laser cutter. After reviewing the above information, you now understand the importance of wood thickness, wood variety and proper wattage. Cutting wood efficiently is possible when using the right techniques. As stated previously, laser cutters have longer focal lengths which are perfect for materials such as wood which are typically thicker and rougher than metal. Laser cutters have served an important role for over 4 decades and are a valuable tool for craftsmanship.

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Joshua Garcia, Founder

Hi, I'm Joshua. I created Maker Industry to share my passion for maker tools and help others learn about 3D printing, CNC systems, laser cutting and more. Learn More