Laser power of a laser cutter for wood
With a CO2 laser cutter for wood you have a perfect machine for cutting wood. From laser powers of 60Watt you can cut through (thinner) wood. With more laser power you can in principle cut through thicker wood, but it is important to look closely at the end result. With thicker wood, the laser needs more time to reach the bottom of the wood (also with more power). This often causes soot formation or burning at the edges.
Demonstration where your wood is cut
To what extent soot formation is acceptable is usually an estimate that our customers make themselves. By carrying out some simple cutting tests on the customer's own wood, an estimate can quickly be made of the quality the customer needs for the specific application. Contact MetaQuip to see which laser cutter for wood is the best choice for you.
The exact achievable thickness depends on the type of wood. Generally, more laser power is required for pressed wood than for natural wood. Here are some practical examples to get an impression of what is possible.
- You can effortlessly cut plywood up to 15mm with a 130W machine replica, but the edges will be dark.
- With a 100W machine 4mm birch or poplar can be cut tight and almost soot-free without further finishing.
- 4mm poplar can also be cut with a 40W machine, but then it has to be finished and sanded to get the soot.
- 12 mm poplar plywood can be cut with 85% power at 130W with approximately 25mm / sec.
These kinds of considerations are the points that a customer should consider when purchasing. Of course, based on extensive experience, MetaQuip can help you make the right choice.
MDF laser cutting
At MetaQuip we regularly get the question whether MDF can also be cut well with a laser cutter. It is important to realize that MDF is not really a wood, but compressed bonded wood fibers. The waste gases and substances that are released during the burning of this adhesive are harmful. We therefore recommend that you always take sufficient time to open the laser valve after the cutting task has ended. This ensures that all vapors are well extracted. The air discharge is also important when cutting MDF. Extraction must take place directly to the outside and / or use must be made of a industrial air filter. MDF can be cut with a laser to large thicknesses. Consequence is often that there is a lot of soot build up at the edges.
Work surface of a laser cutter for wood
The working surface of the laser cutter determines the size of the wood plate that you can machine at once. In doing so, we normally use the maxim that it is advisable to stay at around 10% from the edges. MetaQuip has laser cutters for wood with different work surfaces: 40 x 40cm, 50 x 30, 60 x 40, 100 x 60 to 150 x 90cm. These are all machines that work with a valve, so that laser safety is guaranteed at all times. If you need a larger work surface (up to 150 x 300 cm) you can use an open bed CO2 laser, so-called portal lasers.
Tricks and tips
- Lay the wood to be cut on a wooden base or blocks so that no light is reflected at the moment the laser touches the knife bed or the honneycomb bed at the bottom.
- Use good quality wood (especially with plywood) so that there is no local combustion due to unevenness in the material (as is often the case with the cheaper building market variants).
- Minimize soot formation around the cutting line by sticking the surface with painting tape so that combustion gases do not settle on the wood. After removing any soot on the side, remove the masking tape and you will have a perfectly smooth, naturally colored surface (this works perfectly when engraving wood)
More information about the different CO2 laser cutters and possibilities. Go to the laser cutter overview page ...