View Full Version : Cutting paper& cardboard

Adrian Hill
06-03-2011, 6:30 AM
What is the best way to cut paper & cardboard to get the least edge burn? I have tried various settings but I still get a slight residue along the edge.

Dan Hintz
06-03-2011, 7:23 AM
Reduce ppi to the minimum needed to get through the substrate. Use air assist, if you have it. Make sure your vector table is clean of residue, preferably a pin table if the substrate is rigid enough. Keep power as high as possible given the max speed of your table... you want to blast away the substrate quickly without lingering.

Mike Null
06-03-2011, 7:28 AM
Dan and I may be saying essentially the same thing but I keep power as low as possible to do the job and the speed as high as possible--but enough to ensure cutting through the material. Lowering ppi is important as well so what it adds up to is running experiments with your machine until you achieve the result you want.

Adrian Hill
06-03-2011, 8:06 AM
Isn't there something one could stick to the paper to absorb the residue?

Ian Franks
06-03-2011, 8:18 AM
Howzit Adrian,
We use the highest speed and lowest power setting we are at 20% and 1000mm speed. The focus must be good too, some days there is no visible charring and other days there is. Has anyone tried using a gas through the blower to stop charring.

Adrian Hill
06-03-2011, 9:48 AM
Hi Ian,

Glad to see you got the laser - nice toy hey!

I'll keep on testing.

Ian Franks
06-03-2011, 1:22 PM
Hi Adrian,
The laser is great so much quicker. For cutting we have found the focusing to be important. Not sure about humidity but lately the cuts are clean with the lower humidity.

Adrian Hill
06-03-2011, 4:08 PM
I'm having to make wedding cards for a friend. She wants to use a pearl-like silver sort of cardboard. The edge shows any imperfection. I have played with various settings but I haven't found a specific setting that is perfect. I'm playing around with the DPI setting. I am somewhat puzzled about the settings though:

Ok, lets say I set the speed to 100mm/sec and the power to 75%

Then I set the dot time to 0.1s and the dot seperation distance to 0.127mm (200dpi)

This all then means that:
1. The beam will go on for 0.1 second at 75% power
2. The beam now turns off and the head moves 0.127mm at 100mm/sec
3. repeat.

If this is all true then then speed setting is overridden by the the maximum speed that the head can move 0.127mm (not so). If this is true then the relationship between speed and DPI isn't clear cut. The speed would remain constant once the maximum traversal speed for the particular pitch is reached...

Any thoughts...

Rodne Gold
06-03-2011, 4:56 PM
Your DPI might only apply to scan mode and the dot separation might be the step over distance on the y axis on sucessive scans - the joys of Chinglish.

Ian Franks
06-04-2011, 3:01 AM
Try stardream from Papersmith or Curious Metal from Antalis. You shouldn't set the power much over 20%. Are you using the AI setting in the lasercut software it gives a much smoother cut line. Good luck and remember to look at final piece from 1 metre away and not close up.

Adrian Hill
06-05-2011, 12:41 PM
1 Metre away ? - Isn't that a bit far - I'm so used to looking critically at my models that it comes naturally to look at finished products at about 300mm. (Quite a bit of the model building is done through a magnifying glass)

Ian Franks
06-06-2011, 3:36 AM
1 metre is just a yardstick. This is a wood for the trees type thing. Is the overall effect good. I remember when I had my first banner printed for a customer and had a look close up you could visibly see the mis-register, I was told that is the norm as most people are at least 5 meters from a banner so they won't see it. Nowdays the register is perfect.