Darkly Labs Community

E1 Test cutout for different material

Hi, I dont know if this is helpfull to anyone , but I hope so.

After experimentation with various materials (Wood, solid, veneer etc) I finally set out a test cut on a composite of wood veneer and Straw board backing. I wanted to achieve some depth to the finished articles and finall arrived at the composite material. (Veneer is expensive to laminate into  a reasonably thick piece and a single layer is too fragile to work with in delicate details.

I bond the veneer to the strawboard with PVA glue. 

Set up a toolpath that consists of 7 rectangles. Each rectangle is cut wit the 4 watt laser @ 8mm/sec @ 100 % power.

You can see that 6 passes will cut through but only just. & passes is selected. * @ 9 passes tends to promote some burning…

I will run a test piece like this for each veneer used.

This give a good indication of the settings I need to get clean cuts.

Hope this helps



1 Like

Thanks for sharing this info Patricia.

Can you give us the thicknesses of the two layers you use?



The wood veneer is .6mm thick. Most sliced face veneers are this thick.

The Straw board backing is 1.8 mm thick.

Three pieces of veneer cross laminated is 1.85 mm thick.

Wood veneer can be cut in one pass  on 4 watt laser @ 10 mm / sec.

Wood veneer + straw board backing cuts in 6 passes @ 10 mm /sec.

layers of wood veneer cuts through in  5 passes @ 8 mm / Sec.

The qualification on cutting the 3 layer veneer is the veneer used ( Hoop pine- soft) = 5 to 6 Pases

Blackwood, silky oak = medium density = 7 passes

Australian hardwoods = (Box, jarrah, Ash) = 7- 9 passes

The other qualification I make is the speed of each pass.I use 8mm to 10 mm feed rate to eliminate any burning for the multiple passes and I try to just cut through the stock so as not to damage my sacfrifial board.


I will pst a sample of one of my jobs once it is completed.




Thanks for sharing your results John.

Here is another test to show depth of cut on a 4 watt laser.

Test was carried out on Radiata Pine at 8mm / sec @ 100% power.

Notice that up to 14 passes the cut depth is in proportion.

After 14 passes the depth of cut does not get ang deeper.

Is this because the beam focussed as per instructional manual goes out of focus after 7 mm fdeep.

1 Like

That’s a really useful guide to help people view how the number of passes affects the cuts, thank you :slight_smile:

Working on the thought that the beam goes out of focus after 7 mm from the top surface I experimented with raising the laser head to get a wider width of cut. (( used to emphasise the outline or detail in a design)

I set a piece of 6mm mdf on the base board and set the laser to the correct height for engraving (Black height template).

I then raised the head 12 mm  so that the beam would be wider at the top  surface of the MDF.

Making a test cut, the MDF was engraved with a beam 1mm wide rather than the normal .3 to .4 mm width.

So I expect with a few more experiments I should be able to control the width of the engraving beam by raising or lowering the laser head.

Anybody agree with this proposition.

John Tomley

Hi John,

You are correct. This is one of the nice things about having this height adjustable on the E2. You will have control over the width of the line. It would allow you to engrave some sections faster by using a thicker line etc.

One thing you can do is make yourself a set of spacers that you can use to set the laser height for the line thickness you desire. Lots of possibilities!

Thanks for the informations. Very interesting :slight_smile: