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Laser Engraving: Everything You Need to Know

November 10, 2020

Laser Engraving: Everything You Need to Know

Bulk cutting boards, laser engraved, hardwood products

In recent years, laser engraving has become more popular. It is a useful technique, that can create beautiful designs on numerous different materials. This is achieved when a laser beam passes over the material. The beam heats the material and then vaporizes it. The material can be anything from textiles, natural stones, metals, and wood. It is not to be confused with laser etching, where marks are made by melting the surface of the material. 

The most popular material for laser engraving is wood. This is because wood is adaptable, available and easy to handle. It is the perfect material for laser engraving personalized gift items such as keychains, phone stands and cutting boards. 

The final product is a clean, polished and perfect engraving, that can’t be achieved by other woodworking tools. Some of the most commonly used woods for laser engraving are maple, cherry, walnut and bamboo.

Wood is engraved via a process called sublimation. When a laser passes over the wood, it is converted via combustion into a gas. However, it is important to remember that wood can be problematic when engraving. 

Here are some other important factors to watch for when engraving.

Type of wood

Depending on the type of wood, you may need to use low or high laser power to engrave. With hardwoods like walnut, for example, you may need to use more laser power to engrave, which results in darker engravings.

Resin or sap content 

Resin content can influence whether the wood can burn lighter or darker. Woods that have low sap content, the laser beam vaporizes and leaves a minimal burn. 

Cutting parameters 

When determining the cutting quality of your laser, you have to adjust your cutting parameters. 

Preparing the material

You can choose to condition your product before engraving. Our beeswax and mineral oil treatment will help protect your hardwood product from wear and tear.

Wood Species

For your engravings to be more visible, choose lighter coloured wood, such as maple or cherry. A conditioned product can also bring out the engraving and makes it look incredible.

Want to know more? Check out our Care and Maintenance page.

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