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The Plyco Guide to MicroPanel

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to the laser cutting game. Our Laserply range of plywood that is designed specifically for use with laser cutters has grown into one of our most popular products. With this success we’ve received many inquiries about MDF varieties, which has inspired our team of plywood pros to create MicroPanel.

This guide is Plyco’s introductory overview of everything MicroPanel. Here you’ll find details on what it is and how we’ve made MDF work perfectly with laser cutting, we’ll detail the many different types of MicroPanel, the top properties, and even offer up some handy inspiration to spark ideas for your next project.

There has never been a better time to immerse yourself in the world of laser cutting, so read on to find out why MicroPanel would be the best option for your next wondrous creation!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is MicroPanel?

  • What Types of MicroPanel Are There?

  • Top Properties of MicroPanel

  • MicroPanel Dimensions

  • Laser Cut MDF Applications

  • Where to Buy Laser Cut MDF?

What is MicroPanel?

MicroPanel is the next evolution in Plyco’s efforts to cater to laser cutting enthusiasts. For those of you who have experienced our Laserply products previously you will feel right at home.

Our MicroPanel range takes a handful of our most popular Veneered MDF sheets and adapts them to share similar qualities to Laser Plywood, allowing the MDF to be cut cleanly via a laser. Gone are the days of having to worry about wood being burned or unappealing cuts. If you were to take a standard sheet of Veneered MDF, or even just regular MDF, you would have a hard time achieving the cuts possible with one of our Laserply options. By engineering MDF sheets to be free of core gaps and to have the correct density, we have given life to a new product compatible with all laser cutters.

veneer-american-walnut-mdf-laser-cut-panel

Plyco’s American Walnut MicroPanel

Core gaps cause the build up of air bubbles during the cutting process, which eventually leads to cracks in the wood. This, combined with the density, means it’s smooth sailing from your first cut to your last.

The best thing about our MicroPanel range is that it’s homegrown. Every single sheet you purchase is manufactured in our manufacturing plant here in Fairfield. By choosing MicroPanel you’re choosing to support home-grown Australian products!

What Types of MicroPanel Are There?

Currently, Plyco provides MicroPanel options for our six most-popular MDF veneers: Tasmanian Oak, Tasmanian Myrtle, Tasmanian Blackwood, American Walnut, Carbonised Bamboo, and West Australian Jarrah.

jarrah-micropanel-mdf-laser-cut-veneer

Plyco’s Jarrah MicroPanel

You’ll notice that almost all of the veneers featured in this collection are from Australian species. At Plyco we love to support species that are grown in our own backyard, which is why we have made them the focal point of MicroPanel. If you’re looking to give your next design an Aussie flavour we’ve got a plethora of choices for you.

Top Properties of MicroPanel

The physical properties of a MicroPanel sheet are what make it so special. While it can be hard to tell at a glance, these panels aren’t just your regular Veneered MDF. We have tweaked them so that, while they still have the MDF qualities you know and love, they borrow a few things from our Laserply range to make them suitable for laser cutting.

To create a sheet of laser cut MDF we need three things; no core gaps, the correct density, and the correct glue to hold everything together.

A regular sheet of MDF generally features core gaps, which isn’t an issue for regular woodworking purposes. You can cut, sand, and utilise these sheets to your heart’s content and never run into a single issue. However, the problems start when a laser is introduced into the mix.

darkly-labs-emblaser-2-mdf-laser-cutting

The Emblaser 2 laser cutter from Darkly Labs

You see, laser cutters slice through wood by employing intense heat in the form of its iconic laser. This essentially means you’re burning through the wood to make those perfect and precise cuts. This heat combined with core gaps allows air to build up, causing bubbles that will crack or split your wood in no time. By eliminating core gaps this issue becomes a thing of the past.

Sticking it all together with the correct glue is also pivotal. Many glues will fight against a laser cutter, rather than work with it. If one of these glues is used on a laser cutter you’re likely to find your sheet starting to burn instead of getting your desired cut. The glue we use in all of our laser products are designed to give you the best cut each time. To top it all off, the glue is formaldehyde-free!

MicroPanel Dimensions

MicroPanel sheets come in a single set of dimensions; a convenient and easy to transport 600 x 300mm size with a 3mm thickness. This compact size makes it perfect for shipping, as the low weight means delivery costs are reduced dramatically. If you can’t make it to our Fairfield or Mornington locations, or you’re situated outside of Victoria, this news will be music to your ears.

The makeup of each MicroPanel board sees a premium leaf veneer pressed onto a 1.8mm MDF core, which makes up the 3mm thickness when combined. This is an ideal thickness for getting sharp looking cuts out of any laser cutter on the market.

Laser Cut MDF Applications

Any wood product that can take advantage of laser cutting is naturally going to be perfect for a multitude of applications, purely thanks to all of the weird and wonderful shapes and designs you can cut. Many of the cuts we see our customers making blow our minds — it seems like they shouldn’t be possible with a humble sheet of plywood or MDF.

micropanel-mdf-laser-cutting-application

Clutch purses from Samantha Abbott using our Laserply products

Having said that, there are quite a few applications we often see as a result of laser cutting, which are perfect for MicroPanel. These include jewellery, cake toppers, signage, clocks, and lamps. We’ve even seen customers design gorgeous handbags! Check out our social media pages to see examples of what our talented customers make with these laser products.

Where to Buy Laser Cut MDF?

The best place to buy laser cut MDF is right here at Plyco. We offer the most comprehensive range of MDF for laser cutting and have years of experience designing wood products that work in harmony with your laser cutter.

When you combine our MicroPanel options with our pre-existing Laserply range, Plyco becomes a one stop shop servicing all of your laser cutter needs.

 

If you’re looking to buy laser cutting MDF get in touch with us today. Our entire MicroPanel range can be shopped via our online store. Alternatively, You can reach us via phone or email, or come down and pay us a visit in person. Our showroom is open to the public, so you can get hands on with everything we sell.

 

Brandon Marlow
Brandon Marlow
Brandon is the Woodworking Wordsmith and Social Media Sage at Plyco HQ. Crafting copy for customer tutorials, inspiration and advice, Brandon builds and maintains Plyco's plywood knowledge base.

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