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Using TruFlat for laser cutting

It can be super frustrating when you’re in the middle of a project with your laser, and suddenly your material just won’t lay flat. There are so many factors that can come into play when a material won’t cooperate on your laser bed; how you store your materials, whether there’s moisture in the air, a variation in the thickness of the plywood, or the fact that most laser materials are thin and susceptible to warping. This is where TruFlat® is changing the game when it comes to laser projects.

What is TruFlat® Plywood?

TruFlat® is an innovative & custom-engineered laser material which eliminates the guesswork when it comes to your projects. The MDF core ensures a uniform thickness throughout the sheet, meaning your cuts and engravings will be consistent. In the end, this will save you time since you don’t need to constantly adjust your settings, and will result in less wasted materials.

With a clear acrylic finish on both sides, you can forgo masking since any char marks will simply wipe right off. This also means that your paint fills become a breeze - simply apply your preferred acrylic paint over the engraved area, and remove the excess with a damp wipe.

Diode lasers have a few more limitations than C02 lasers, so TruFlat® plywood was engineered to be an excellent option for all laser users. Sometimes white materials can give diode users some issues, but since all of our colour options are on an MDF core this should eliminate those issues across the board. As with all laser materials, we recommend running material tests to dial in your settings, and it is good practice to run them at least once with each new batch of products you purchase. Settings will vary between brands and wattages of lasers - a Mira 7 60W next to another could have entirely different settings, so it’s always good to learn your laser’s limitations on a case by case basis for products you’re going to be using. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of settings for varying machines and wattages as a place for you to start with your laser’s settings test - you can find it here.

What is the difference between TruFlat® and Baltic Birch Plywood?

Baltic birch plywood that is safe for laser cutting is a very versatile option for your projects, but it can have some downfalls. Because it is made from layers of wood veneers and glue, there can be a higher margin for changes of thickness throughout the sheet you’re working with. This can be glue patches that cause more charring than normal, or spots that just don’t seem to cut all the way through with your tried and true settings. It also has unfinished faces, which can mean you need to sand them down before you put it in your laser. Adding masking is sometimes required to avoid added char marks on an already sanded piece of plywood, or if you’re adding a paint fill afterward it is necessary to mask to protect the areas outside of the engraving from getting paint on them.

By all accounts, baltic birch is an entirely different material for your laser projects. Making the switch to TruFlat® gives you professional looking projects with less work to get you there. No more sanding or masking, and the clear finish elevates a finished piece to help your work stand out among the rest.

What if I’m having trouble cutting TruFlat®?

All lasers are different - one 60W machine may require completely different settings compared to another 60W machine, even of the same brand. As with all laser materials, we recommend running a material test for each new sheet to ensure that your settings are as accurate as possible, followed by checking mirror alignment and that your lens is clean/free of damage. Our laser settings guide is an excellent place to start though, you can view it here.

Projects made with TruFlat laser plywood

Shop TruFlat® Laser Plywood at KJP Select Hardwoods

Now that you know what TruFlat® is and how it works, incorporate TruFlat® into your next project. We offer individual TruFlat® sheets as well as a starter pack or essentials pack depending on your needs. Contact us with any questions or larger orders!

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