Cutting 1/8" birch plywood with a Glowforge

Hi,

Anyone have experience using 1/8" birch plywood with the glowforge? I’d like to use this machine to cut projects made from this material. I would really appreciate any help on this.

Best,
Kenny

Should be a fair amount of settings listed in #beyond-the-manual. I’ve been cutting 1/4” Baltic birch like butter.

YMMV as compositions can vary. Baltic birch has standards so it cuts pretty consistently.

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Yes, search is your friend…

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Thank you for your help. A sales rep from Full Spectrum Laser told me that the glowforge would have a difficult time cutting through that material and that he would recommend a 90watt laser from them. Obviously he’s trying to make a sale so you can’t believe everything they say. Thanks again!

I’ve been cutting 1/8 birch plywood all weekend. To be honest I just use the settings for proofgrade maple plywood and it cuts like butter. Here’s a piece after cutting out a ton of stuff:

FYI - the hold down pins are too big to fit in the crumb tray. When I get to the end of a piece, I use all available space left to try and maximize what I can get out of the material. The “clouds” on the right are a design I made in CAD for my daughter that holds up a painted rainbow.

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You should send him this and ask him how it was possible… :slight_smile:

(I guess for clarity, I should mention that the left puzzle is 1/4" baltic birch and the right piece is .08" chipboard)

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wow, thanks! I really appreciate your help

haha wow thanks for the photos. I can’t wait to get my glowforge.

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LMAO! 1/8" Baltic Birch has been the go-to laser material for CO2 lasers from 30W up forever :slight_smile:

90W is a pretty hefty machine. Ought to be able to do 1/2" with a couple of passes.

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Exactly… a 90-watt will get the job done faster. But saying it would have “trouble?” Not quite.

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So a follow up to this - I would like to cut 1/2 material - would just doing a double pass at full power accomplish that? Not so concerned with the burn marks, but obviously I don’t want to start a fire!

Full Spectrum is a liar-liar-pants-on-fire. Because 1/8th baltic birch plywood is pretty much all I cut. Even though I have a bunch of other stuff I should be playing with. Just keeping going back to it.

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No, I don’t think so. 1/2 inch is 4 pieces of 1/8 inch thick. I cut 1/8 inch in one pass of full power (at 200-225 speed. Though, I havent experimented with that as much as I should. It was the first thing I tried, and it worked, so I just default to it. There are probably better settings). I dont think 2 passes would get you through 1/2 inch.

Maybe I’m wrong, though.

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One pass should do 1/4 inch stuff - I’ll try tonight. And I can always try.

I have some 3/4 baltic birch I would LOVE to cut with this. I’m probably just going to have to up my laser at some point… :slight_smile:

Wow–that reflects really poorly on Full Spectrum. Talk about an egregious lie.

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And incredibly obviously a lie. Their own 40W lasers are advertised as being able to cut through 1/8" BB. The guy should read his own literature.

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https://community.glowforge.com/t/settings-for-1-8-baltic-birch-engraving-and-cutting/16120

I’m using 150 speed/Full Power on a pro to cut 1/4 Baltic birch. That’s with glue and .01” thick photo paper.

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To be fair, we don’t know the original question posed. If a question were more geared towards a production environment, recommending a 90-watt would make considerably more sense.

I do 2 or 3 passes with 1/4" material – basswood, in this case – simply to minimize the charring on the edge of the cut. 3 passes @ 250 cuts cleanly and leaves the edge brown, not black. :slight_smile: 2 passes @ 200 or so gets through, too.

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