How deep can you etch into wood?

Hi there,

I know the fundamentals of laser cutting but haven’t spent much time really experimenting with techniques and things like that. Is it possible to etch over the same area several times into order to create a deeper “relief” image? How deep can I go, and would I have to refocus the laser after a few passes?

I am essentially trying to create a “stamp” and will need the positive area to extrude out a decent amount. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Check out this post for a recent discussion on making stamps

Awesome, super helpful Stephannie thank you!

Potentially pretty deep, but focusing limits are a problem. You won’t be re-focusing. One pass will probably be the best choice. More depth from going slower, or better yet decrease the Line Interval to make it do more passes and it will cut deeper.

Reliefs 1/4" deep are generally do-able.

Wood is a problematic material as it has grain of varying density. The laser does not specify a depth like a CNC bit, it just varies the energy. On acrylic, the depth is very consistent and predictable with laser. On wood, the soft parts of the grain carve out deeper than the hard parts and leaves bands much like weathered wood. Sometimes that effect is a desirable aesthetic.

This was carved on Tarkin. Most don’t come up this good. The grain is barely showing the depth changes. I believe this was mesquite.