How to Laser Cut Paper

Paper is no stranger to us. It is even like an old friend who is always with us.
If you own a laser cutter and want to cut paper, you may have various questions about the process. If you have a laser cutter and want to cut paper, you may encounter various questions about cutting paper. Paper is fragile and flammable and can cause a fire if you are not careful. However, good parameters allow the paper to be cut without burn marks on the edges.

In this article, I will describe the key points of the laser cut paper process.

Advantages of Laser cut paper

Laser cutting of paper is a very controversial topic, but after much practice, we have found that laser cutting of paper is a perfect option. Its advantages are as follows:

Good cutting results

Laser cutting of paper gives excellent engraving results, both in engraved details and cutting very satisfying edges. Even after setting the engraving parameters, your engraving will be 100% perfect every time. And the paper does not show any distortion or stains after engraving.

Highly challenging designs

Laser cutting machines can quickly produce challenging design effects. It is no exaggeration to say that such complex design effects are challenging to produce by hand.

High efficiency

Laser cutting paper can produce a set in a matter of seconds. Laser machines are ten or even a hundred times more efficient than our traditional manual production. For commercial production, laser cutting paper enables maximum production in the same amount of time for maximum benefit.

Which types of paper are suitable for laser cutting

There are many paper types, and depending on the material's composition, thickness, and structure, the production parameters for laser cutting settings vary. However, a laser cutting machine can cut or engrave almost all paper. Here we list some of the papers that are commonly used for laser cutting.

Photocopying paper

 Photocopying paper

This is one of the essential papers for every home, school, and company. This paper does characterise by its thinness and uses printers. Laser cutter cuts with a tendency to produce burn marks. You must set low power and high speed parameters to cut the paper. If you need to cut a lot of copy paper professionally, you can buy a special gate cutter for faster cutting production.

Laser paper

Laser paper

Laser paper is a special paper for laser cutting, which gives unique cutting results during production. The surface of this paper is coated to ensure a perfect cut and a smooth edge during the engraving process. The laser cut for paper also produces less fumes and is more environmentally friendly.

Two-ply paper

 Two-ply paper

Two-ply paper is also a type of paper suitable for laser cutting. Two-ply paper is generally made up of two different colors of paper that are processed together. The top layer is removed during engraving to reveal the other color. This creates a sharp contrast after cutting. Many greeting cards and children's crafts are made from this type of paper.

Card stock

 Card stock

Cardstock is similar to Two-ply paper, although the cardstock is more delicate. It is ideal for making invitations, greeting cards, and covers. It is also available in various colors, allowing for a more colorful engraving effect.

Cardboard

Cardboard is a tougher material and is suitable for toy puzzles.

Corrugated cardboard

The first thing that comes to mind about corrugated cardboard is transport packaging. Laser cutting corrugated cardboard is complex. But once you have mastered the cutting technique, you can cut a perfect cutting surface.

How to avoid burning when laser cutting paper

Paper is a very flammable material. We also face a considerable challenge when laser cutting paper. So how do you avoid burning when laser cutting for paper? Setting the optimum engraving parameters for your laser cutter is one of the most effective measures to prevent paper from catching fire. You can also take supplementary measures to prevent paper fires during cutting.

Parameter settings

This is a direct factor that affects fires during laser cut for paper. If the paper is very thin, setting high speed and low power parameters is best. Test this several times on different paper materials until you find the right engraving parameters.
But try to set a low power setting and increase it slowly during the test. When a burn mark appears on the cutting edge, the power cannot exceed this value.

Correct focus

It would help if you focused well during the engraving/cutting, and many machines now have an autofocus function. If this feature is unavailable, you must refer to the focus parameter table to adjust the focus values when focusing manually.

Switching on air assist

Turning on air assist is an effective solution to burning laser cut paper. The air assist function blows away any debris generated during the cutting process. It also quickly blows away the heat generated during the engraving process, effectively solving the problem of burning paper.

Use of honeycomb panels

The special structure of the honeycomb board facilitates heat dissipation, and the heat generated is dissipated from the bottom of the board in time. This way, there are no burn marks on the back of the paper.

Exhaust system

A sound exhaust system will keep the fumes and particles produced by the laser cutting machine outside in good time. If you ask me how can I have a good exhaust system? You can buy a fan to connect the ducts, effectively solving the problem of exhaust fumes.

The next step is to explain the complete process of laser cut paper, which you can follow to minimise burning.

The laser cut paper process

By following a standardised cutting process, you can avoid burning your paper. Let's get acquainted with the cutting process!

Designing the pattern

The design should be smaller than the size of the paper and then should import the design into the computer. This process is the first step, and this step is particularly important. You can proceed smoothly to the plan's next step with a good idea.

Setting the parameters

Once the design is ready, we need to select the engraving parameters. Usually, there are recommendations in the user manual of the machine. Still, there are many different types of paper, and the advice they give us only uses as a reference. You must keep testing the engraving parameters to find the most suitable ones. You should note the following parameters:

  1. Power: Generally, choose a low power to cut the paper. Recommend starting with 10w and increasing it slowly.
  2. Speed: The slower the speed, the higher the heat generated. So we choose a high speed for cutting. The general speed of laser cut paper can be 8-10 ips. For more complicated pieces, I recommend using 1.5 ips.
  3. Focus: Gweike cloud machines have an automatic focus function, so you don't have to worry about focusing the material at all. Suppose your machine is manually focused. Recommend that you adjust the focus parameters carefully.
  4. Frequency: Recommend choosing a lower frequency for cutting paper. Usually, 800-2000Hz is the right frequency range.

Air Assist

Turn on the air assist. Open the air vent for the air assist to open a little wider.

Honeycomb panels

Place the honeycomb board. If your paper is very thin, recommend using tape to secure the paper to the honeycomb board. Otherwise, the fan may suck up the paper and discharge it outside.

Exhaust system

The air duct is connected to the fan to ensure that the fumes from the cutting process are sucked up in time.

Testing

Once the above process has been prepared, we can take a piece of waste paper of the same material and test it. Adjust the parameters as soon as any problems arise. Once you have tested the best parameters, you can then cut/engrave on the new paper.

Project list for laser cut paper

If you have learned to laser cut paper by following the steps I have outlined above, you are ready to start your own profitable little business. Use laser cut paper to make some extra money for yourself.

Flower paper cut

Use the laser cutter to cut out a flat flower surface and slowly roll it around a midpoint from the middle. Finally, attach the end to the flower body with glue for a laser engraved flower. You can also find other cut planes of flowers and give your partner a bouquet of your handmade roses for Valentine's Day or a wedding anniversary. It is very memorable.

Flower paper cut

Gift box

As with making paper flowers, to make a paper box, we use a laser cutter first to cut out its plan and then fold it up in order. You can engrave a custom design on the top of the box to fill it with gifts for loved ones and friends on various holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Even engrave the names of the whole class on the box to give to friends as a souvenir at some graduation ceremonies.

Gift box

Card

Greeting cards are one of the most frequently used gifts we give each other. Selling customised greeting cards is a profitable project.

 Card

Corrugated box design

Can you tell without reading the title that it's made of corrugated paper? Isn't that amazing? If you are skilled at cutting corrugated paper, you will open a new chapter in laser cut paper. The unique structure of corrugated paper makes it easy to create many creative products. They even cut a Transformer out of corrugated cardboard, which is impressive.

 Corrugated box design

Recommendation: laser cut paper machine

If you want to buy a laser paper cutting machine and are deciding between a blue light and a CO2 laser cutter, we recommend you buy a CO2 laser cutter. Here we recommend the CO2 laser cutter, followed by the Gweike cloud laser paper cutting machine.

laser cut paper machine

It cuts perfectly through all kinds of paper and cardboard. You can easily cut the desired effect on the material. Here are a few of its advantages:

  1. Free air supply fan, which ensures that the debris produced during the cutting process is promptly exhausted outside
  2. Air assisted, you do not need to spend extra money on machine assistance
  3. Honeycomb bed plate to avoid burn marks on the back of the paper and to accelerate heat dissipation
  4. Built-in camera, able to extract images in real time
  5. You can afford it, and it is available in installments

Conclusion

Laser cut paper can provide a cleaner cut edge. There are some challenges in the cutting process, such as paper burning. But once you have mastered the art of cutting, you can use this skill to your advantage. Gweike has a wide range of CO2 laser cutters for you. Start your cutting journey now!

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