Darkly Labs Community

3 mm hardwood

I have found a source for 3 mm hardwood (not ply) sheets and was wondering if the E2 would be able to cut it. I was thinking of cherry, poplar,alder and maybe hard maple specifically. 


I’ve successfully cut up to 4mm thick  timber such as spotted gum and blackwood. 4mm isn’t a limit I’ve reached, its just the mximum that I’ve tried.

I’ve found solid timber  cuts better than ply, possibly due to there not being glue laminations to get through.

Thanks Chris,

I wanted to ask before I made the investment. Some of it isn’t cheap plus I have to invest in something to cut it because it only comes in 24" lengths.

Thanks again for the reply Chris.




Hey Mark, if you don’t mind answering, where are you getting your wood. Sourcing hardwood has been on my list to do. Veneered ply is good from Plyco, their birch ply (or is it poplar?) cuts so easily, perfect cuts.

Hi Richard,

I don’t mind at all.


I think it is kind of expensive but it was the only place I found in the US that had what I wanted.  It comes in 24" lengths and comes in widths from 4" to 12". I ordered some cherry, hard maple, popular and balsa.  The wood appears to be decent looking. I haven’t tried to work with it yet but it should work fine.

Let me know if you need any more info.


Expensive? You sure do live in a magical land! Compared to specialised sized timber here they are very reasonable prices.

Unfortunately from experience of buying  timber and laserboard from the US  I know given the way they calculate postage to Australia , that the postage    will cost way more than the cost of the  timber.  :frowning:

i tested some poplar and it went through 4mm really easy, especially compared to 3mm MDF.

Yeah in Australia getting decently priced hardwoods is quite a challenge (hence I’m still hunting around). Until then all I have to work with is Tasmanian Oak, Cedar, Pine and veneered Plywoods.

I’m yet to give MDF a go, I wanted to cut some 6mm MDF today but having heard the challenges associated with it ending up just using my CNC but I miss those sharp corners.

Alan you mention 3mm MDF, what settings did you use and have you tried 6mm?

Trotec do some 5mm timber boards of various dimensions. I haven’t priced them but since their lasers are in the thousands and thousands I’d imagine they wouldn’t be cheap


I used to be able to get walnut and mahogany boards of thickneses from 2 mm up to 5mm from model ship suppliers. If you don’t mind the dimensions of about a metre long by 100mm wide that might be an option. I used to get mine from a place that just happenned to be about a 3 minute drive from where I work, but they no longer stock planks, only strips,

( I ended up buying a drum sander and now mill my own to whatever thickness I want!)

I have an account with Trotec (easy enough to sign up) so I can see prices:

Solid Wood, 5mm
600x300x5mm = $40 plus shipping for all varieties
300x100x5mm = $12 plus shipping for all varieties

Semi Gloss Veneered Woods, 3mm
600x300x3mm = $20plus shipping for all varieties

Shipping (courier):
Ordering 3x sheets of 600x300x5mm will cost $20 to get to Adelaide. - Not bad


Thanks Tom,

Thats not as bad as I assumed, guess I should stop doing that.

Trotecs NSW office is literally a 15 minute drive from here, I might drop in there some time.

for 3 mm MDF i was running 3-4 passes (ended up at 4), 100%, 300 speed. and even then it was a crap shoot as to whether it would cut. even doing 5-6 passes sometimes would not help. too much having to clean the laser constantly.

pity as MDF is the main cheap item for making gaming scenery, but if i can get cheap poplar i will probably just switch to that.

Alan, The recommended Darkly Labs settings (in Laserweb) for 3mm ply work really well for 3mm MDF

Mark, how did your order from Ocooch go? what was postage like? I’m looking for a supplier of solid timbers too. 

Hi Timothy,

This was my last hardwood order from Ocooch.

| Item | Price per piece | Quantity | Subtotal |
| 1/8" Cherry 8" wide 24" long | $11.00 | 2 | $22.00 |
| 1/8" Hard Maple 8" wide 24" long | $11.00 | 2 | $22.00 |
| 1/8" Basswood 8" wide 24" long | $6.00 | 1 | $6.00 |
| 1/8" Poplar 8" wide 24" long | $7.25 | 1 | $7.25 |

Total: $57.25
Shipping: $15.00
Tax: $0
Grand Total: $72.25 

Another earlier order for 1/4" hardwood.

| Item | Price per piece | Quantity | Subtotal |
| 1/4" Hard Maple 10" wide 24" long | $14.00 | 2 | $28.00 |
| 1/4" Cherry 12" wide 24" long | $18.40 | 3 | $55.20 |

Total: $83.20
Shipping: $16.64
Tax: $0
Grand Total: $99.84 

The wood I have ordered from them has been good quality.  My very last order was for 1/8" birch baltic ply and one sheet had a plug in it but it didn’t affect anything I needed it for. Normally the order is processed and I have it on my doorstep in 6 days.  I’ve never had an issue with them.

Hope this helps.