Pneumonics by Holly de Moissac

Pneumonics by Holly de Moissac, 2018. Cut woodblock outlines of internal organs, three-quarter inch Baltic birch plywood. 2018.

Cutting: Yes

Engraving: No

Cutting time/1 sheet: Less than 5 minutes. 

File Preparation: File was prepared by creating black ink drawings, scanned at 300 ppi. Images were then opened in Photoshop, increasing contrast in levels, selecting dark areas, and exporting the selected outlines to illustrator. 

In illustrator, I chose an RGB workspace, and worked with 1 pt thick black lines to clean up the image. This was done by selecting my outlines, moving them out of the workspace, selecting and deleting rogue anchors/noise, and then repositioning my outlines. I then sized lines to .003 mm (or .009 pts), and changed their colour to RGB red. 

Key settings: The standard power setting for cutting wood was too low; however, we chose to run the laser over the same path 4 times rather than increasing power to reduce fire risk. 4 passes seemed to be enough in most cases, 3 was not enough


  • For a cut woodblock, laser-cut lines less than a ¼” apart resulted in a very fragile strip of wood. This was due to the charring from the laser which destabilized the structure of the block. If thin lines are required, a thinner block of wood requiring less passes from the laser would be a better choice.