Here you will find all the information, tricks, know-how, advice plus tips to help you laser cut and laser engrave your model in our Medium Density Fibreboard MDF material. You will learn about:Our MDF material & laser cutting/engraving techniques
Colors & Sizing
Technical SpecificationsGeneral Information on our material
Our MDF Material
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product. MDF is made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres and combining it with wax and a resin binder. Panels are then formed by applying high temperature and pressure. The end result is a aesthetic light beige panel with a fine texture.
MDF is available in a number of thicknesses and colors, and has a lot of benefits:Isotropic: its properties are the same in all directions so no tendency to split
Inexpensive: you can usually purchase MDF for a fraction of the cost of purchasing real wood
Furthermore, as previously said, Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) has a fine texture with a better surface quality that makes painting it easy. Painted MDF objects will have a great look.Processing Times and Pricing for Laser Cutting and Laser Engraving
The price of manufacturing your MDF design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. It is calculated in an interactive way and depends on several factors such as the quantity of material being used, machine manufacturing time , and some logistic costs - to name a few . As you modify your object and utilize our optimization tools, you will note that the price changes automatically. To see the cost of your model in a few clicks, you can go ahead and upload your file.
For laser cutting, we have two different catalogues: one for the materials we produce in our factory in France, and one for the ones we produce in our factory in the United States. According to whether you choose materials in either or both of those catalogues, your shipping time and cost will be modified.
The time for cutting and engraving is approximately 2 working days for plywood produced. An additional period of 24 to 48 hours may be necessary depending on the size of your vector file. Based on the details of your engraving, the operation may take some time.What about the manufacturing process of MDF boards?
Laser Cutting is a digital subtractive fabrication technique that consists of cutting a material by means of a laser. Laser Cutting can be used on a number of materials such as acrylic, wood, cardboard, etc. The process involves cutting material using a powerful and highly accurate laser that focuses on a small area of the material. The high power density results in rapid heating, melting and partial or complete vaporizing of the material. Usually, a computer directs the high-power laser at the material and traces the path.
Laser Engraving techniqueLaser Engraving (or Laser Etching) is a subtractive manufacturing method, that uses a laser beam to change the surface of an object. This process is mostly used to create images on the material, that may be seen at eye level. To do so, the laser creates high heat that will vaporize the matter, thus exposing cavities that will form the final image. This method is quick, as the material is removed with each pulse of the laser. It can be use on almost any kind of metal, plastic, wood, leather or glass surface.Uses and Maintenance
MDF, from a technical point of view, is a material that has several benefits, both on its ease of use and on its durability. The technical properties of MDF can vary depending on the thickness but will stay quite stable regarding expansion and contraction. When cutting, MDF is not subject to any cracks or any deformation and its tecture allows makes it easy to get a perfect cut. Moreover, it can be painted, stained, dyed, painted on, fireproofed, waterproofed, molded, lacquered, or curved. Unlike solid wood, MDF does not contain knots or rings, making it more uniform for planing or sanding. All these features explain why MDF is used notably in interior design and in the furniture industry. For instance, MDF is used to make solid wood furniture, such as a coffee table, garage doors, wardrobe doors, hand tools, wood screws, and any type of DIY projects, especially for home improvement where there's a need to replace real wood for saving money.
Medium Density Fibreboard DF is easier to maintain than natural wood products. To clean your models, simply use a cleaning product, that has no ammonia or abrasive powder, with a damp cloth on the object. It is recommended to avoid rough cloths, scouring sponges, lacquer thinner, and aggressive cleaning products.Paint and glue your MDF parts and creation
MDF is a material that lends itself to different types of operations. Indeed, MDF can be painted, glued, varnished, dyed, painted, fireproofed, waterproofed, molded, lacquered, and, unlike solid wood, MDF does not contain knots or rings, making it more uniform for planing or sanding.For painting, for example, MDF lends itself well to either a solvent based paint , such as oil based paints, or a water-based paint, such as acrylic paint. MDF has a surface that absorbs the paint, it is best to apply a primer before painting the MDF.Bonding operations can be easily done with wood glue such as polyvinyl acetate, better known under the name of Elmer's glue. Thanks to the use of wood glue, you will create a great MDF product!
North Signage Design Guidelines
Laser Precision for Laser Cutting and Laser Engraving
Laser cuts and engraves material by burning its surface. Therefore, the sides of the piece tend to be darkened, and are marked slightly on the edges. Sometimes, marks appear on the cutting line. The sides of the part cut in MDF might stain skin or clothes, as a thin layer of black wood powder remains on the part.
When burning the surface, the laser also leaves a kerf of a width that can vary, depending on the type of material and the thickness chosen.
When designing your project, you need to take this kerf into account, and plan for a surplus of material accordingly.