Kerf cut: Trotec Wood and acrylic sheets bending applications

By using "Kerf Cutting" you can form and bend rigid materials like wood or acrylic, creating different forms or geometries. We have tested both Trotec Wood and TroGlass (from 3 mm up to 5 mm) and showing the results here for you.

We have prepared templates with the different kerfs for you, ready to be downloaded:

What cutting techniques are there?

Laser kerf cut straight
Kerf 1: Straight intersecting lines

Straight intersecting lines form a stable radius. The further apart the single intersecting lines are, the bigger the bend radius will be.

Laser kerf cut small waves
Kerf 2: Small waves

Small waves are interconnected and make the material appear flexible. This cutting technique is suitable for materials up to 3 mm thick, and the bending radius is very large.

Laser kerf cut large honeycombs
Kerf 3: Large honeycombs

When cutting large honeycombs, the curves are tapered at each end and cut out of the sheet. Wooden boards up to 5 mm thick can be used due to the large honeycombs shapes.
The honeycombs can easily be pulled apart and pressed together, meaning these properties can easily be combined connections, for example, bracelets. This cutting pattern is also often used in model making.

Laser wavy kerf cut
Kerf 4: Wavy cut line

Like as in pattern 1, this cutting pattern consists exclusively of cut lines in the shape of waves, but differs in the bending properties as it is more flexible.

Laser kerf cut honeycombs
Kerf 5: Honeycombed cut line

The specially arranged pattern of this bending cut allows flexibility in all directions. This makes numerous creative applications possible, for example, bag design.

Laser kerf cut waves
Kerf 6 and 7: Narrow and wide waves

These cuts are all-rounders and work well with many different materials. The shape of the individual cut lines gives stability and flexibility.

Laser kerf cut triangles
Kerf 8: Triangular shape

This cutting pattern can be bent in all directions and due to its design, the pattern is often used as a graphic element.
The triangular shape of this cutting technique is very suitable for materials up to approximately 3mm. From 5mm material thickness, the bend becomes rigid and inflexible.

Kerf cut Trotec wood
Cutting techniques for Trotec Wood

Trotec Wood is extremly well-suited to create bending applications using different cutting techniques. However, different types of wood should be viewed individually:

  • Trotec plywood is very good for bending applications. Due to how the wood plates are glued, it is very flexible in all directions and possible to bend in a very narrow radius.
  • Our 5 mm solid wood is perfect for cutting techiques to create bending applications with gaps. For instance Kerf 6 is considerably more suppler than a straight cut or a cut without a gap (Kerf 1).
  • Trotec MDF is like our plywood and very simple to process.

Kerf cut TroGlass
Cutting techniques on TroGlass

Acrylic cutting techniques are best for rigid bends, e.g. boxes or cases, where the bending radius is hardly ever changed. With a continuous load on the cutting pattern, e.g. with a book, the webs can easily break.

When processing acrylic, pay attention to the following points:

Use at least a 2"" lens for the bending cuts. Given that acrylic melts, if the lens focal length is too small, it may cause the cut area to instantly stick together again. We recommend a cutting distance of approx. 1 to 1.5 mm. If the material melts despite the correct lens being selected, increase the distance between the individual cut lines. However, if the selected distance is too large, the flexibility of the bend will decrease.


In summary, the following points should be noted when creating a design depending on your desired bending result:

  • Material properties
  • Direction of the wood fiber
  • Distances of the cuts
  • Thickness of the material