Cutting photo with laser?

How difficault is it to cut a photo with J-Tech 3.8 w laser
And what type of wood is best for it.

By “cut” do you mean engrave a photo, like this?

If that’s what you mean the answer is not hard at all. The trick is dialing in the speed and power.
The image above was done with a 2.5W laser at 5000 mm/min (83mm/s) and 100% power using the Jarvis image dither mode.
Your laser is more powerful so you could either decrease the power (percentage) or increase the speed if your machine can handle it, otherwise it will be darker. You really just need to play with some scrap pieces and see what you get, while making notes :slight_smile:
In terms of wood choice, most anything will work, just note that the lighter color the wood the more power it will usually take to engrave at any particular level of darkness. This is not an issue as much for CO2 lasers but for a diode laser like you have, lighter wood will just reflect back more of the laser light. Try engraving a piece of white printer paper some time… it doesn’t really work for the same reason.
So, a light pine will need higher power than a walnut or cherry.
Point is, I’ve not found any wood to really be bad for it. Just depends on what you are going for. I recommend finding a store that specializes in fine woodworking near you. They’ll usually have an off-cut bin full of cheap pieces of all sorts of things you can test on. And, if you want to get more testing out of a piece just run a power sander over it and remove the engravings, then try again.

Diode systems are much easier to use for wood engraving than CO2 systems, because the lower power tends to char and blacken the wood instead of vaporizing it. As Adam says, it’s relatively easy, and usually a matter of doing some test patches with different settings to find what works for the material you wish to use.

Basswood, alder, walnut and birch all work quite well. Things with coarse grain like pine burn well, but the grain can make the result look strange.

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thx Adam and Oz
you guys gave me hope…
is there any specific type of wood you use to make such a nice image

What type a wood did you used on the picture tiger ?

@rednote - I’m 99% sure that’s cherry. Don’t worry, I didn’t waste an expensive board :slight_smile: It’s an MDF core plywood from here:
I got a whole sample pack from them a while back to use with my laser cutter.
But as Oz noted, which I forgot… finer grain wood is going to be better. Maple, Birch, Walnut, and Cherry are all good in my experience. Birch probably being the cheapest.

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I´ll try to get one of those woods and give it a try.

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