Solid wood vs ply

How different is it to cut hard wood vs ply? I get ill have to tune like I do whenever I do a new material, but should I expect large differences is thickness cutting ability?



IMLE that depends solely on the materials and of course on how close You are to the power (/focus) limit of Your laser.

On wood -be that hard or soft- there’s the resins and the grain orientation to throw things off, on plywood it’s the glues/adhesives used to stck the plies together is what causes the most problems.
Assuming of course the adhesives used can be lasered predictably in the first place, and there’s no voids or knots in the inner plies.

IMLE again, no.
There will always be some variation, but with any heterogeneous material there always will be even when the stock changes.
I have mainly used HW-store kind of materials and don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I do assume that if the material is bought from a reputable supplier as “laser cutting approved”, the results are very predictable and consistent.


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If you’ve ever driven a nail or drilled thought a knot in a piece of wood, you know the difference.

I get basswood from Amazon. It’s an mdf that works rather well for the machine. Every now and then, cutting along, it hits a large glue area and I lose the piece…

With the fiber, the glue just explodes leaving big chunks in the piece…

Every time I get a new batch I do kerf and engrave/cut tests. Usually it’s in the ball park … but needs adjusting.


at the moment I mostly use ply. I found a local supplier with quality ply in 5x5 sheets and they cut to my bed size. There are no voids, no putty filler, no metallic additive in the glue (its a thing unfortunately), and the glue is very mild / not waterproof and lasers very well. It comes out to about 3.5$ usd for my usable sheet of 530mmx300mm + brim to hold in my metal frame I built to stabilize the workpiece.