Wood Overview

Wood is an organic material consisting of cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin. Typical types of hard and soft woods include cherry, maple, walnut, alder, birch, balsa, pine, teak, and ironwood. Many people assume that wood is an ideal material for laser processing. In fact, some may assume a "laser cutter" is ideal for wood. However, laser processing of wood is much more diverse than this. Laser processing of wood can be performed with a 9.3 or 10.6 micron CO2 laser without any noticeable difference in processing quality. Wood does not readily absorb the energy produced by the 1.06 micron fiber laser and is not recommended for processing with this wavelength. Laser cutting of wood with a CO2 laser produces a slightly darkened squared cut edge. Laser engraving of wood with a CO2 laser can be used to create depth into the material. Depending upon the process and specific material used, a ULS platform used as a laser engraver can create a slight color contrast with the surrounding area to a high contrast dark effect on the material.

Applicable Laser Processes for Wood

Laser Cutting
Laser Marking
Laser Engraving