Laser engraving “burns” or “vaporizes”the wood, helping avoid some of the waste issues presented by rotary engraving. Unlike with rotary engraving, some contrast can be achieved without paint or other colorants, depending on the type of wood. If we do not see much depth of color after our first pass, try adjusting our laser machine’s focus to about 1/4 in. or 3/8 in. and make as many passes as necessary to reach the color we desire. Increasing the density also may result in greater contrast.
Because of wood’s natural discrepancies, some sections may appear lighter or darker. As with the rotary engraver, we experiment with our machine to identify the best settings. Generally speaking, harder woods respond best to a higher laser power and slower speed, while softer woods tend to require a lower laser power and higher speed.