Best woods for 3d?

What are the best woods, proofgrade or other for 3d engraves?

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Glad you asked the question I am wondering the same thing. I almost bought some pine awards plaques but didn’t want to start a fire. So if its ok I’ll ride this bus with you.

Basswood works very well.

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I’m a big fan of both Basswood and Birch ply. I’ve also had success with PF Maple hardwood, but Bass and Birch are still my favorites.

PF Basswood
Even more 3D (Bat and decorative tile)

PF Maple hardwood
I have a friggin' laser! ( 3D fractal engraving )

Birch Ply (from the hardware store)

(I have no clue what I did or how I made the titles above so HUGE! I left it that way even though it comes across as me yelling because it made me lol to see it :thinking::rofl:.)


Thanks! I do not understand how you get the files to cut the shapes out. Any help would be appreciated.

Not bamboo.

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Basswood is great. Poplar not quite as good.


In the example with the PF Baswood and the 3D settings, the areas that were black were just completely eaten away by the laser . I’ve attached the image I worked from so you can see what it looked like. I made some adjustments to it so the dark areas were true black.

If you check this link you’ll find a bit more info about it. It was my first time trying the 3D option and we talked a bit about it cutting all the way through the wood in the darker areas.

I’m never sure of someone’s understanding of file types etc., so forgive me if this is old news to you. :slight_smile:

If for some reason the 3D setting aren’t cutting out the areas like you want, you can add separate vector cut lines to the file to make sure the areas are removed. You just have to open the rastor image in a graphics program and either trace the image to get your vector lines or hand draw them. It’s more time consuming, but it guarantees areas are cut out.

My brain works in pictures so here ya go…


It sounds like maybe you learned that by personal experience. (Me too :slight_smile: ) Being a grass, the fibers make for for really inconsistent burning.

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Thank you so much! I’ll try this soon.

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Thanks for sharing your experience!! Saves me some time in figuring things out. If you have any other tips or lessons learned I would love to be a sponge and soak it up. Thanks again, looking forward to burning some stuff with you guys.

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Thank you for the info,

I did. It actually looked really good, but the innermost part of the engraving was chipping off because of the fibers.

PG maple ply, PG maple hardwood, draftboard, and Home Depot birch ply all worked well for me.

Oak did not. :slight_smile: (To much variation in density. The effect is interesting, but unpredictable.)