Finding the answer to “How much is laser-cutting wood?” is crucial if you intend to invest in wood laser-cutting.
For starters, laser-cutting techniques don’t incur the imaginary huge cost that is often easily assumed.
Processing wood using laser-cutting methods means highly effective outcomes and efficiency.
While there are different wood-cutting techniques, laser-cutting is among the most efficient.
Laser-cutting is highly efficient for making high-precision cuts and engravings.
You might find that laser-cutting is a bit more expensive than the traditional cutting method. The quality of this method makes up for the cost invested in it.
This blog post sheds light on crucial tips about calculating and estimating the price of cutting using a laser-cutting machine.
It highlights factors that contribute to the costs of wood laser-cutting.
Determining Factors That Affect Laser Cutting Price
The price of laser-cutting wood is not fixed. It is subject to many determining factors which are unique to each project. You can calculate laser-cutting costs by considering each of these factors related to your current project.
Cost per minute/hour of laser-cutting:
Different types of wood have different processing times due to their difference in texture. The longer a piece of wood takes to process, the higher the cutting price for it.
Running a laser-cutting machine is costly, bearing in mind the power consumption and other liabilities.
If you laser cut your wood with your laser machine, you will also be responsible for maintenance and replacement.
This procedure can trigger a sharp rise in the pricing of laser cutting.
This is why it is advisable to outsource your laser-cutting projects to part-processing companies that specialize in laser-cutting and processing.
However, in outsourcing, the calculation for your laser-cutting project cost can be per minute/hour. Depending on your region, per-time cutting can have a fixed price.
Otherwise, you can negotiate for every project depending on other factors, like the hardness and thickness of the wood.
If your project requires engraving some materials, then it will include additional costs. Laser engraving is time-consuming, and running a machine has cost implications.
The most common method of pricing laser engraving projects is by the square foot.
Different laser engraving businesses have different prices per square foot, starting from 40 to 55 cents per square foot.
Always enquire to know the price before contracting any firm, and be sure there are no other hidden charges applied.
Other laser engraving pricing methods include charge per minute, charge for each engraved character, and based on engraving layout.
The method employed depends on the size of the project. Charging per square foot is most suitable for smaller projects.
Laser Cutting Process
Cost of laser materials
The cost of raw materials for laser-cutting can vary from time to time.
These variations can cause fluctuations in the overall laser-cutting cost.
Resources such as electricity and cutting gas, depending on the type of laser machine used, can affect the price of laser-cutting wood.
The firm’s operating cost includes the cost of laser-cutting materials and it plays a big role in their laser-cutting pricing estimates.
These costs also change depending on the market economy in general.
Many laser-cutting factories offer reduced rates for larger order volumes.
This is possible because the graph of expenses per unit of material is a curved line.
Meaning that the cost of production reaches a maximum point and additional units do not cause an equal amount of additional expenses.
To be on the safer side, always negotiate larger projects with different factories before choosing one with the best rate.
Shipping and distribution
Shipping and distribution charges depend on three factors. Firstly, the nature and size of the materials for shipping, the number of materials, and finally, the shipping company.
Considering the type of material, it is normal for thin and delicate materials to cost more due to the level of care put into their shipping.
Larger and stronger materials cost less because they have a lower risk of deformation or damage. The other factor is the amount of materials being transported.
The more the materials, the more the cost and it all depends on the shipping company’s pricing system.
Apart from the time and amount of materials, laser-cutting processes can include additional charges caused by some unique factors.
Some of these factors include material thickness, texture, special cutting requests such as a specific curve, and engraving.
However, the additional charges are usually discussed before the commencement of the project.
When cutting thin materials, you can reduce the cutting time by stacking many pieces together and cutting them simultaneously.
Exceptions to specific orders
Pricing rates for special orders are different from the regular order standard.
Some specific customizations and inclusions may cost more or less to process.
You can negotiate the pricing for specific orders for each project.
Laser-engraved wood materials
Best wood for laser engraving and cutting
Various wood materials produce various outcomes when cut with the laser cutter. The quality of the wood determines how well a finish it will have after laser-cutting. Here are some of the best wood for laser-cutting and engraving.
- Cherry wood: Cherry wood is a very dense wood and so presents a good material for laser-cutting. It requires a high level of laser power for its cutting and engraving and. It produces a fine finish after laser-cutting.
- Hard maple: Just like cherry wood, Hard maple is also a suitable wood material for laser-cutting and engraving. It produces fine edges with laser cutting.
- Basswood: As a softwood, basswood produces a light mark after laser-cutting. It is very easy to cut and engrave with the laser cutter.
- Baltic Birch Plywood: In the class of thin woods, Baltic Birch plywood is excellent for laser-cutting. They are smooth and easy to cut through with a laser cutter.
A man engraving wood with a laser machine
A laser cutter
There is no one-size-fits-all method for laser-cutting pricing. The cost of laser cutting for every wood Project depends on the unique requirements of that project.
To calculate how much for laser cutting wood, you must choose the particular factory you want to work with. Make inquiries on their pricing and hidden charges for special orders.
Go through the negotiation phase and then run the costs for other expenses like shipping.
By the end of these estimations and calculations, you would have come up with an approximate cost for your wood laser-cutting project.
The factors listed in this blog post should guide you in making an accurate estimate.