As an organic material, wood provides a unique surface for laser marking and engraving. These processes create intricate, beautiful designs with aesthetic impact.
Wood marking is the process of using a laser to add contrasts to the material’s surface. Conversely, laser engraving for wood removes some of the surface material to create desired images. Manufacturers can also add nuanced shading during engraving by using different techniques, power levels and lasers.
During the engraving process, manufacturers use laser-powered equipment to discolor a workpiece’s surface. A controlled burn allows them to create designs with different depths and shades using a CO2 laser.
The results you obtain using a laser to mark wood vary significantly depending on the wood type. For example, lighter-colored woods tend to produce higher contrast markings since the laser darkens the wood through heat. Wood that contains more sap typically also yields darker images. Due to their density, harder woods like maple and walnut generally need a higher-powered laser.
Wood laser engraving lends itself well to applications like:
Unlike traditional fiber lasers, CO2-based wood laser engraving machines have less fire hazard potential and produce cleaner results. Other process advantages include:
Because the process involves heat, a CO2 laser is required to prevent fires. Manufacturers also often use application tape to protect other project areas from the heat as they work, avoiding burn marks.
Laser engraving equipment from Laser Marking Technologies incorporates a high-speed galvo laser for controlled, precise heat application. Once the beam touches the wood’s surface, the heat causes oxidation in the sublayer to produce discoloration. The result is high-contrast brown-to-black marks and a depression where the laser vaporizes the surface material, known as ablation.
Our sophisticated equipment allows you to control the power density to achieve material modification instead of ablation. This process removes less surface material for subtler results. Additionally, it generates less wood fiber combustion, producing softer color contrasts.
The ideal approach for your project depends on the final look you want. Combining the two techniques can create stunning, unique designs to set your products apart.
LMT has been a trusted designer and manufacturer of laser marking solutions for wood and other materials since 2002. We specialize in cutting-edge, high-quality equipment backed by generous warranties and 24/7 technical support.