Plywood and thin plywood

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Plywood and thin plywood: features and offerings at Lasersheets

The plywood and thin plywood sheets are the most popular laser materials. Our sheets are special types that come out perfectly from your laser cutter. Thanks to the special bonding, the lasered edges become a beautiful light brown instead of black or sooty. Moreover, there are very few knots where your laser might encounter difficulties. Of course, this material is also perfect for engraving and marking.

All our plywood and thin plywood have the LaserGrade quality mark. This means that they are tested and proven suitable for laser cutting and engraving.

In our range, you will find birch plywood and birch and poplar plywood. The thicknesses to choose from range from 0.5 mm to 12 mm. This depends on the type of plywood you choose. The dimensions also vary widely. So, there is likely a birch plywood sheet or a poplar plywood sheet that is suitable for your project.

What can you do with plywood sheets? They are used in a large number of different situations, usually with, but also without, a laser cutter. You can make jewelry from it just as easily as a lampshade and use it to make toys or a housing for your speaker.

A useful tip:

Take a look at the FSC® mix credit birch plywood 3 mm and FSC® mix credit birch plywood 6 mm boards from our range for an environmentally conscious choice.

The terminology: aircraft plywood and (thin) plywood

What distinguishes plywood and plywood from MDF (boards of pressed and glued wood fibers) is that they are made up of multiple wood veneer layers. These are cross-glued together, which makes them strong in all directions. This makes them less likely to break and makes them very suitable for projects with the laser cutter.

There are different types of these bonded and laminated boards, namely aircraft plywood, plywood and plywood. We briefly explain the difference here.

1. Plywood

Plywood is a wood sheet that consists of three layers. We sell plywood sheets made of birch wood, because it is stronger than poplar wood. This means they can be produced thinner. The thinnest birch plywood sheet from our range has a thickness of only 0.5 mm. Our birch plywood sheets of 3 mm thickness have the FSC® mix credit quality mark and are sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe.

2. Aircraft plywood 

Aircraft plywood is a collective term for thin plywood or plywood sheets, referring to sheets with a thickness of less than 3 mm. "Normal" aircraft plywood cannot be used in the laser cutter because it is glued with exterior glue (known as WBP glue), a characteristic originating from its use in aircraft construction.

The exterior adhesive in traditional aircraft plywood causes the sheets to come out of the laser cutter with black and sooty edges. Moreover, cutting through these types of sheets requires much more laser power (or lower speed). Our plywood sheets thinner than 3mm, however, do not have this problem as they are made with an adhesive that is laser-compatible. The edges will be neatly light brown, won't stain, and your laser will cut through them smoothly.

At Lasersheets we do not sell normal aircraft plywood, but LaserGrade aircraft plywood and thin plywood that can be used in the laser cutter. You don't have to worry about black, sooty edges with us, even if you choose the thinner sheets.

Did you know…

Our 3mm plywood panels are a favorite among our customers?

What is plywood used for?

Plywood and thin plywood are used in the laser cutting industry for a variety of applications. The list below clearly shows how versatile this material is.

  • Home decoration
  • Model building
  • Furniture construction
  • Boxes and housings
  • Cards and jewelry

    Tip: our customers make all kinds of things with the 3mm plywood sheets from Lasersheets. And there are plenty of websites with ready-made (free) vector files that you can download directly for your laser printer. We have collected a few tips for you in this blog post .

    Different types of plywood and thin plywood + their properties.

    You can come to us for birch plywood and plywood and poplar plywood. These are supplied in different thicknesses and sizes. This table summarizes the most important features per product very nicely.

    Kind

    Designation

    Also known as

    Thickness

    Number of layers

    Wood quality

    Origin

    Birch

    Plywood

    Aircraft plywood

    0.5mm

    3

    AB/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood

    Aircraft plywood

    1mm

    3

    AB/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood

    Aircraft plywood

    2mm

    4

    AB/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood


    3mm

    4

    B/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood


    4mm

    5

    B/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood


    6mm

    7

    B/B

    Scandinavia

    Birch

    Plywood


    9mm

    10

    B/B

    Scandinavia








    Poplars

    Plywood


    6mm

    5

    AB/BB

    Europe

    Poplars

    Plywood


    10mm

    7

    AB/BB

    Europe

    Poplars

    Plywood


    12mm

    9

    AB/BB

    Europe

    Because both types of wood have different characteristics and a different appearance, it is good to take a closer look. Read the descriptions below so that you make the best choice from our plywood and thin plywood sheets.

    1. Plywood birch

    We consciously source our birch plywood  from Scandinavian forests. These forests are managed sustainably, which is of great importance to us at Lasersheets. That's why our most popular birch plywood sheets, 3 mm and 6 mm, are FSC® certified.

    The wood quality is also important. Our birch aircraft plywood sheets have a wood quality AB/B and our birch plywood sheets have a wood quality of B/B.

    The characteristics of birch plywood are highly interesting for the laser cutter. It is strong, natural, has a clearly visible grain, and therefore produces beautiful and unique results. It's an excellent choice if you love the look of wood and want to highlight its natural grain.

    Choose from our wide range of birch plywood and plywood:

    • Thickness: birch aircraft plywood 0.5 mm, birch aircraft plywood 1 mm, birch aircraft plywood 2 mm, birch plywood 3 mm FSC® mix credit, birch plywood 4 mm, birch plywood 6 mm FSC® mix credit and birch plywood 9 mm.
    • Dimensions: 20 x 30 cm, 60 x 30 cm, 60 x 60 cm, 90 x 60 cm, 120 x 60 cm.

    2. Poplar plywood

    The poplar plywood sheets that we sell are also sustainably sourced. These sheets are from Ecoplex, a company that, like us, takes sustainability very seriously. Poplar wood grows quickly, making it an environmentally friendly choice. For every felled tree, a new one is planted, and it reaches maturity more quickly.

    Poplar plywood is softer and lighter in weight than birch plywood. It is a smart option if you are looking for a thicker plywood sheet for your laser cutter.

    Did you know: You can cut all our 12mm plywood with a good 90W laser cutter? Poplar is lighter in weight than other types of wood, making it easier to laser cut.

    Poplar plywood is thicker and contains 5, 7 or 9 thin layers of high-quality sustainable wood. All our sheets have an AB/BB wood quality designation. The poplar wood in our plywood panels is extracted in Europe and is widely used for model making, furniture construction and art installations.

    We sell these poplar plywood sheets, so view our range:

    • Thickness: poplar plywood 6 mm, poplar plywood 10 mm, poplar plywood 12 mm.
    • Dimensions: 20 x 30 cm, 60 x 30 cm, 60 x 60 cm, 90 x 60 cm, 120 x 60 cm.

    3. Other plywood options

    In addition to these loose plywood and thin plywood sheets, at Lasersheets we also sell bundles and workshop packs. These include a range of discounted birch plywood sheets, ideal for your Fablab, classroom, Makerspace or workshop.

    • The affordable bundles of birch plywood sheets are occasionally available. They have a thickness of 4 mm. The wood quality is slightly lower than our regular birch plywood, which means that the chance of knots is slightly greater. But they are still very suitable for laser cutting.
    • The birch plywood workshop package consists of 25 or 75 high-quality panels. You will receive various sheets from 0.5 mm to 9 mm thick. You get a total of 18 square meters of sheet material, with a nice discount.

    3 tips when purchasing plywood and thin plywood

    Now you know everything about the plywood and thin plywood sheets available for sale with us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. With more than 10 years of experience, a passion for laser cutting and engraving, we are happy to share our knowledge with you.

    Whether you choose birch or poplar plywood, you can be sure that it is suitable for your laser cutter. If you don't have a laser cutter, it can also be used in many other ways.

    With such an extensive choice, we understand that it can be difficult to choose the right panel for your next project. Here we share our golden tips for everyone who wants to order plywood and thin plywood.

    1. Don't buy "normal" aircraft plywood

    Thin plywood sheets that you find in the model making store, for example, seem ideal for use in the laser cutter. Plywood with a thickness of less than 3 mm is also called aircraft plywood or aircraft plywood.

    However, this "normal" aircraft plywood is almost always glued with exterior glue. This makes it much more difficult to laser cut (slower), and the edges burn during cutting, turning black and staining. We, therefore, do not recommend using this normal aircraft plywood in your laser. Our plywood and plywood sheets that are less than 3mm thick can be cut and engraved with the laser without these issues. Hence, we do not sell standard aircraft plywood.

    Are you interested in our thin aircraft plywood and plywood sheets for your next project? Then this is a list of options that we offer in our range.

    • Birch aircraft plywood 0.5 mm and 1 mm.
    • Birch aircraft plywood 2 mm.

    2. Please consider the midrib direction when laser cutting

    All plywood and thin plywood sheets from our range are cross-glued. This makes them stronger and also ensures a neat finish of the edges during laser cutting. However, there is a midrib direction and this standard follows the length of the sheet for most plywood sheets.

    If you choose a plywood or plywood sheet with a size of 600x400 mm, then the grain direction runs right across the sheet. This is an important point to take into account when using plywood and thin plywood sheets with these dimensions in the laser cutter.

    Are you interested in a plywood or thin plywood sheet from Lasersheets in this format? If in doubt, please contact us for more information about the midrib direction and its importance for your laser cutting and engraving results.

    3. Pay attention to this if you have a laser with a lower power

    Do you have a laser cutter with a lower power? Then two things are important. First of all, it is wise to use a softer type of wood , such as our poplar plywood sheets. A high-quality 90W laser printer can cut a 12 mm thick poplar plywood sheet (if it fits) without any problems.

    If you choose a harder type of wood, such as our 3 mm birch plywood panels or birch plywood panels, we recommend choosing a thinner variant . Many of our customers with a smaller laser cutter choose 3mm plywood or less.

    With this you can create beautiful objects, such as:

    • A halftone image
    • An engraved photo, sketch or logo
    • Loose parts for model making

    Laser sheets for all your plywood and thin plywood sheets

    Whether you need a plywood sheet with a thickness of 3 mm or a thicker plywood sheet, all our materials are suitable for the laser cutter. We have 12 years of experience in this sector and know better than anyone how frustrating it is when you cut a material that is not made for laser cutting and engraving.

    Lasersheets originated from our sister company Snijlab and we guarantee that with our products you do not have to worry about the results that come out of your laser cutter. Many entrepreneurs, hobbyists, designers, technasiums, producers and Fablabs have gone before you.

    We also sell our materials in small quantities and simply send them by post (or on small pallets) so that everyone can receive them. If you order in larger quantities, you will receive an interesting volume discount.

    So take your time and browse through all the laser cutting-friendly products in our webshop! Laser cutting is also our passion, so questions are always welcome . We would like to, because we prefer to talk to other laser cutting enthusiasts. Together we will find the best plywood or thin plywood material for you. You will then make your next laser cutting project a great success.

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