Wood laser cutting and engraving

Wood and plywood are the easiest materials to laser engrave and very popular. Precise cuts and deep engravings with good contrast are possible in most woods.

Laser Atelier

Possibilities with wood and plywood

Wood is a versatile material for laser processing. All types can be engraved. The resulting look depends on the type and the used laser settings. Cutting is possible with plywoods and thinner solid wood and veneers.

Laser cutting and engraving has many different applications. Popular are branding and personalization of objects. Depending on the laser parameter many different looks can be achieved: From very detailed engraving of small details to a more traditional branding-iron look.


  • Gifts for clients and personalized marketing material.
  • Personalisation and branding of products.
  • Model building for prototypes and architecture models.
  • Signage, labels and plates
  • Point of sale (POS) for companies
Guatemala map sketchbook laser engraved from wood - backcover details
Engraving of birch aviation plywood
Laser engraved token made from cherry wood. It shows a small section of moon topography.
3D wood engraving in cherry wood 5mm
Topographical map of Hemmental, Schaffhausen - Detail of the village
Topographic model made from aviation plywood 2mm
Laser engraving in 1mm birchwood with LEGO minifigures
Engraving and Cutting of architectural sample in thin plywood (Birch)

Types of wood and plywood

  • Solid wood engraving works well. The resulting look depends on the wood and laser parameters.
  • Oiled and varnished wood can be processed as well. The varnish allows for easier cleaning after processing.
  • Plywood is well suited for cutting and engraving. Can be cut up to a size of 12mm. This depends on the type of wood.
  • Veneer can be cut and engraved fast and precisely.
  • MDF und HDF can be cut and engraved up to a size of around 10mm.
  • Cork can be engraved very well and cut in thinner thicknesses.
  • Poplar and birch engrave with less contrast for a more discreet look.
  • Cheery, beech, alder and oak can be engraved with good contrast.
  • Solid wood cutting is not possible in a thicknesses of more than around 8mm. The edge quality gets bad and charring occurs.

Laser processing notes

Deeper engraving and cutting on wood and plywood leave traces of smoke from laser processing. If needed a special protective foil can be applied before laser cutting to prevent these marks.

Protective foil to prevent laser residue A special foil can be applied before laser processing to prevent marks.

Applications in wood

Burn stamp and branding iron look in wood

By using special laser settings engraving with strong contrast is possible. This burn stamp or branding iron look is well suited for a more natural and rustic look. Works on most woods and plywood but looks best on lighter woods.

The engraving is less precise than a normal engraving and is better used on bigger texts or larger logos. Small details may be lost.

  • Lighter woods are more suited.
  • Best for larger texts and logos
  • Details like small text may be lost.
Laser engraving with a branding iron look on birch wood 
Engraving with branding iron look on birch wood

Cork engraving and cutting

Cork is well suited for laser processing. Detailed engraving can be done fast and have a good contrast. Cutting is possible with precision. The natural appearance of cork is preserved.

The cutting of thick cork sheets is not possible.

  • High speed and contrast  is possible for cork engravings.
  • Material is not damaged. Laser marks can be easily cleaned of. 
  • Thick cork sheets (more than 5mm) are not suited for cutting.
Laser engraving and cutting in cork for architectural sample 
Laser cut and engraved cork for architectural sample

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