This may have been asked and answered, but has anyone successfully cut through a stack of cardstock to minimize time & workload?
I am an invitation designer by trade - I bought the glowforge for value added services to my business, one being custom laser invites. Before I make this attempt, I wanted to check to see if anyone has done this
i would avoid stacking paper. both because of the increased fire risk everyone above has mentioned, but i’m going to presume you’ll also get a lot more char on the edges as well. in the end, any air in between the sheets is going to potentially introduce flame. even if the paper doesn’t catch on fire, it’s going to scorch more.
I had similar thoughts because you’d have to overpower the cuts.
That being said, I find that I always cut 2 layers. It prevents smoke marks on the bottom of the top layer (which is the one I want). If you have the right kind of paper surface, you could mask it, but I find that a waste piece of cardstock underneath does the job really well. I just finished a cardstock mask, it was essential to prevent smoke marks and char because the bottom surface is the outside of the mask.
Kind of a moot point anyway, since you want to anchor each sheet to keep the air assist from blowing it around. (I’d invest in a Seklema mat if my livelihood depended on this, and only work on one sheet at a time to keep from having to buy a new laser cutter.)
right, but that bottom layer is a sacrificial layer to the job.
i would think with the two sheets and the bottom being sacrificial, you wouldn’t have to overpower because you’re not trying to cut through two, tho. or are you trying to cut through because that’s what keeps the char off?
I don’t overpower when only cutting 1. The sacrificial layer only partly cuts, especially dots on sharp corners. If I wanted to stack 2-3 layers of cardstock, I’d have to up the power, and at some point, the top layer would start getting really toasted.
I did that entire mask with the same piece of sacrificial material, on 5 separate cutting jobs. It was scored to death, but still held together.
I have often found that when trying to “save” time I end up using way more time - like when I get caught speeding and have to wait for the cop to write the ticket, or when I try to cut a stack of something and then have to clean up after the fire. Be careful.
I think it would be difficult, at best, to get consistent results. Tons of places for smoke to get caught in a design leading to more smoke discoloration. Not to mention the more obvious risks of fire.
Page 3 of the manual specifically advises one to not do this.
The most I would probably do on this is cut and set up a jig to do two of them side by side, depending upon the size of the cardstock and how the design falls. You could do two 8.5 x 11” sheets of cardstock if you rotate the design 90 degrees counterclockwise and point the longside of the cardstock towards the back of the machine.
That doesn’t minimize time like stacking material would, but it decreases the overall set up time
I cut a stack of twenty plain copy paper the other day no problem at all. They had been through printer so we’re loosened up. I just stacked them with magnets on top to keep things from blowing around.
Charring on edge of cut is still an issue.
I did watch, because paper, not because stack. If anything I would expect a stack to be safer.
So much input and I appreciate each and every response!
For some perspective, this is an example of my work. This particular lasercut was purchased from a company who produces and sells them in bulk. I have requests for custom versions (monograms, etc, etc)
When a bride needs 150 of these, I need to be cost effective, thus the reason I asked about stacks. I was thinking of masking the top layer and securing the stack with 2" mask around the entire bundle at each end.