View Full Version : Lasering Paper?

Mike Burroughs
02-15-2007, 2:32 AM
I had a customer today that owns a scrapbook store, She wanted to know if I could cut paper (specific designs for her customers). Is this possible? What settings do I use?

Or will I need to contact the fire dept. shortly afterwards to put out the fire?..lol

While on the subject, when watching the video on engraving laptops, they did a test run on paper. Does anyone else do that?. Again, what would you use for settings?

Thanks again,

Justin Harrington
02-15-2007, 2:47 AM
Hi Mike

I'm busy cutting paper/ thin cardboard on the laser as I'm writing this. I am doing table decorations for my sons birthday party.

I am using 60% Speed, 5% Power and a Frequency of 200. It cuts cleanly with no charing of the edges what so ever. I am sure you could go up with the speed but I'm cutting alot of circles and at a higher speed I start to get jagged edges.

I have a 75watt Epilog.

Hope this helps.


Dave Fifield
02-15-2007, 4:11 AM
What Justin said.

I often do test cuts using ordinary white printer paper. I don't recall my exact settings right now - somewhere in the s50p8f500 range though (with a 45W Epilog). You'll have to adjust the settings for your laser by doing a few test cuts.


James & Zelma Litzmann
02-15-2007, 6:50 AM
We often do a test run on black paper, before we run on the material. We are fairly new at this but we've learned that a test run is sometimes cheaper than ruining the material. If we are about to run something on clear material, we will sometimes run it first on the black paper then we just set it on top of the paper and we know exactly how its going to look.

James & Zelma (Psalms 18:2)

Joe Pelonio
02-15-2007, 7:59 AM
On my 45 watt Epilog I cut paper, card stock, even regular old cardboard as in carboard box. None of them flare up and catch on fire with the correct settings. With paper the real problem is the pieces going out the exhaust,
unless you have a model with a vacuum table.

Barbara Sample
02-15-2007, 11:08 AM
I run every new job on a piece of copy paper taped down. If it's something I have never done, I draw the outside with a pen and run it at 100 Speed 32 Power on a 30W laser. If it looks centered and good, I save it as a template, and run the piece.

I have also done card stock with good results. If you see flame, the settings are wrong. Just start according to your laser settings and work from there.

Good Luck,

Dave Jones
02-15-2007, 12:41 PM
I do index card stock and cover stock all the time. I've also done colored construction paper and pieces cut from cardboard boxes. Never had any flare. Just need very low power. I've also scored carboard for folding, but that's very touchy to get just the right amount of power.

I have also put blue carpenters tape on objects and lasere at low power to see if the image will be in the right position. I originally tried it with the low tack mask paper I use to prevent smoke damage on items, but it doesn't change color. Just gets a bit thinner and is hard to see the difference. With the blue carpenters tape it changes color.

I've made some nice greetings cards by cutting colored construction paper and then glueing it to cover stock (its a light card stock)

Card stock and cover stock are less problematic for me than typing paper or construction paper. Those are so light that they tend to move after cutting and sometimes get in the way of the laser beam when it cuts something else near it. Even with the vacuum hold down.

Rob Bosworth
02-15-2007, 1:04 PM
You can also cut multiple layers of paper. The biggest problem with cutting a number of sheets at once is smoke damage on some layers in the stack. You have to be able to hold the paper down very flat, so no smoke can make it into a void. LaserCraft developed a process many years ago that used metal masks to help hold the paper down. They used fairly high powered CO2 lasers, at least 1000 watts, and removed paper at very high speeds.

Try cutting multiple layers. If you are doing a lot of paper cutting, it might help processing times. If you are doing smaller orders of paper stock, it might be faster to cut them one sheet at a time. Good luck.

Jeff Chumbley
02-15-2007, 1:32 PM
Not trying to veer off post, I use overhead projector inkjet transparencies for practice runs. You can find them occasionally in the bargin bin at your local officemax type stores.

I use 100s 25p on 24tt 45w and get a frosty image that you can view and since it is clear you can see where it is positioned on the material.

make sure the rough side is up facing the laser


Justin Harrington
02-16-2007, 2:10 AM
About holding the paper down:

I have a sheet of 3mm black perspex cut to the exact size of the laser bed. I then spray 3M Spray Mount Repositionable Adheasive onto the side facing up. Any thin material; paper, spectrum ultra thins etc will remain in place and not go through the extractor. I have never had a issue with anything not removing from the perpex, when the tackiness starts fading just apply some more spray ( obviously do this outside and not while it's in the laser! ) It also helps to tape down the edges of the material. If you are cutting lables or small parts just use some Prestic to pick them off the perspex.

Why the Black Perspex?
I have found that when cutting on this it leaves zero residue or burn marks on the material you are cutting, you also don't get the flare ups that occur when using the vector grid. As for why black works it beats me any other colour I try leaves it's residue on the edges. You'll also be supprised at how long the perspex lasts, I cut thousands of spectrum lables and I'm still on my first sheet of Perspex.

Hope this helps.

Doug Bergstrom
02-16-2007, 5:48 PM
We laser paper all of the time both vector cutting and etching. We made Christmas cards this year cut in the shape of a snowflake and etched a pattern and logo onto it. We received more calls from that mailing than any other advertising we have done!

Jim Good
02-17-2007, 12:03 AM
You know we're going to ask to see a picture, don't you!?! :D

Any available for a photo?



Doug Bergstrom
02-19-2007, 1:15 PM
Here is a photo of the paper snowflake as well as a photo of jean material.

Jim Good
02-19-2007, 6:07 PM
Those look very nice! I'll have to try that for the upcoming Christmas season. I should have plenty of time to practice!

Thanks again,


Les Halliwell
05-17-2007, 11:35 PM
Having read the comments, let me throw mine out. In my shop I run a paper lasering of every job that is more than a run of the mill job. Then write the power speed and other details including the price and put it into a 4" binder for record purposes. In Xentech rotary we have the abilitiy to wwrite job notes but in Corel it is not that easy.If I need to have exact placement then I'll leave the paper in place on the table and set the item on top. I went to a printer and had them cut me 250 sheets of heavy bond paper 12x18 and that covers the full table.

Frank Corker
05-18-2007, 10:35 AM
Regarding the laptop - see here

There are plenty of examples of people engraving their laptops on Youtube.com - but you probably new that anyway

Dave Jones
05-18-2007, 11:23 AM
I put job comments in Corel all the time. I just put them on their own layer, named "notes", and make sure the print icon is turned off in the object manager.

Paul Proffitt
05-18-2007, 11:24 AM
You may have seen this before since it has gone around in email links, but when it comes to cutting paper I think this is where some real talent lives. (No relationship with the artist, just amazed by it.)


Paul Proffitt
Epilog Legend 24TT 45 Watt, CorelDraw 12, Illustrator CS, and a lot of woodworking tools - all of which I'm still learning to use.

Dave Jones
05-18-2007, 11:39 AM
I've seen a lot of pics of that guy's work. It is inspiring. I also saw some pics on the web of versions he did of a couple of them that were room sized instead of table top sized.

Neal Schlee
05-18-2007, 11:52 AM

A trick we use for test runs is, apply 3M Blue Masking Tape to the pc. Then do your test run at low power (<10watts), low resultion (150dpi) and a fast speed (90-100%).
The laser turns the tape white allowing you to see the design, just make sure your power is not enuf to cut thru the tape, you might run some tests on some scrap first.


Larry Bratton
05-20-2007, 8:53 PM
Is Perspex the same thing as Plexiglas-acrylic sheet?

Dave Jones
05-20-2007, 11:20 PM
Yes. Perspex is a brand name that has become a generic name for acrylic in many parts of the world, just like "plexiglass" is a brand name that has become a generic name for acrylic in the US.

John Pickett
05-22-2007, 5:56 PM
I make templates and stencils from manilla folders all the time. Never had a fire and the edges do burn alittle if the power is set too high.