LaserPly information

Material properties
Arguably the most commonly used wood for laser cutting and engraving. Bonded with MR glue line and known as laser plywood in the industry.
Not all ply is the same or suitable for laser processing, the ply we supply is birch plywood, which is glued with colourless urea- formaldehyde adhesive resin modified with melamine.
In accordance with the Standard EN 13986 formaldehyde emission meets the Class E1 requirements. Test method EN 717 part 2.

Dis-advantages of using non laser ply
Plywood sold at most hardware stores isn’t bonded with modified adhesives making it prone to smoking, flaming, charring at the edges and producing toxic fumes. This can cause health, safety and environmental issues, reduced filter life, damaged optics and poor finished product quality.

Advantages of Hobarts laser ply

  • Safer to work with.
  • Less damage to your machine.
  • Cleaner – improves filter life.
  • Better product quality – light brown cut edges.
  • Cost effective.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Hobarts ply comes from correctly managed and sustainable sources.

Typical applications
Art & sculpture, signage, model making, light construction work, furniture and cabinet making, retail display.

As a natural material, please be aware the tone and grain line can vary from sheet to sheet. Thinner sheets can also be prone to warping.

Laser cutting
Birch ply is a natural material so burn marks are caused during the cutting process that are minimized using the following standardized cutting methods.

On our range of machines reduce the PPI (Pulses per inch) to around 300 (frequency).
Masking tape can be applied to the outer surfaces

However on Hobarts laser ply we find a quick rub with “wet and dry” paper (600 grit) will leave a clean and beautifully smooth surface

Cut Edge
Birch laser ply cuts with a light brown edge which, due to the slower cut speed used is darker the thicker the ply being cut. You should clearly be able to see the layers on the cut edge

Wood knots
Sometimes the hardness of a knot will prevent the laser from cutting all the way through the sheet. In this case you may need to slow the cut speed slightly to completely cut through the material.

Raster and vector engraving
Hobarts laser ply engraves and marks exceptionally well producing good results on both block and image engraving. A high degree of detail can be reproduced using a vector marking technique, similar to cutting but with a lot less power and higher speed.
Deep engraving
By simply slowing the raster engraving speed down it’s possible to achieve a deep engrave of, for example text or a vector image. Fill the engraved area with the material of choice (a contrasting wood filler works well), clean off the excess and you’ll have very effective end result

Additional notes
Although our laser ply is specially formulated it is still imperative to have a fully functioning, efficient dust and fume extraction in place

Being a natural product, colour/shades will vary. Birch plywood is prone to bend/curl and, in many cases, will need to be taped to the laser bed. The thinner the sheet, the more likely it is to curl.

Examples using our laser ply

Imperial War Museum London on laser ply
Fokker tri-plane Living hinge Photo engrave


Would you like to make the model tri-plane?
Download a cut file for Corel Draw X6® here
Download a cut file for Techsoft 2D Design® here
Download a cut file in DXF format here

Get the laser ply here (600mm x 300mm)

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