Cutting a stack of cardstock

Do you mind sharing your settings for 20 pages of card stock?

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Thank you!
I want to do this is the worst way - but I cannot see doing them one at a time x 150 . I cannot imagine my pricing would be very competitive.


Your biggest problem is going to be flyaway pieces. All of those fine bits can get picked up by the air assist, and cause missed cuts or fires. Search the forum for seklema mats.


that’s actually the opposite of what you should expect. the possibility of air trapped between sheets increases the possibility of flare ups. that’s why corrugated cardboard is actually one of the most flammable things to cut on a laser, the air pockets.


interesting that they show corrugated cardboard in the promo…

In your opinion, if I created a test stack, the thickness of the 1/8" birch wood - would/should I use the same settings as the wood?

It’d be a good start… but it will likely behave differently. Test carefully.

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absolutely nothing wrong with cutting corrugated cardboard. the only caveat is that it’s one thing you should always watch carefully when you cut. not something you should pop out of the room for a moment while it cuts.


Warning: I am not an expert, and do not take my word as gospel, but here’s what I’ve found.

Fire risk with any material is greatly affected by cut parameters.

Basically with cardboard, you want to avoid keeping the laser anywhere for very long. So, cuts with lots of intricate small turns are a no-go. Slow speeds are a no-go.

Always watch corrugated. It is always a risk, but if you’re cutting quickly, it’s less so.


Sorry, no idea. It was copy paper and I probably just ran it as medium draftboard first just to see what happened. If I recall correctly, the first run did about 3/4s of the stack. But my memory could be lying entirely :upside_down_face:

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i’ve done some fairly intricate stuff w/corrugated cardboard, even some living hinges. just have to, as you said, cut quick and be watchful.

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Follow up question: fastest way to put out a glowforge fire–just in case



sprayer full of water and a rag for something you catch in time.

beyond that, a halotron fire extinguisher to save your house.

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With your tears.



Please let us know how it works out and, what you do, if you try cutting stacks.

I have been cutting my kirigami stuff in single layers. Though, I do gang as many as possible onto each sheet.

I know some of the industrial paper cutting services (e.g., Lasercraft) have some method (using industrial laser equipment) for cutting stacks.

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I don’t ndr stand why everyone is worried about stacked paper and fire. Have you actually tried burning a book. It’s harder than you think…

Results of early testing, reported directly to Glowforge. (And yes, it was tested.)

The Glowforge team puts the warnings out there for a reason, not because they like typing things up, and not because they want to crimp anyone’s fun. If they tell you it’s dangerous, it’s because it’s dangerous. There have been several instances now of people who have either ignored the warnings, or didn’t bother to read them in the first place, resulting in melted machines.

Don’t be surprised if your luck runs out one day with the paper stacking. I hope you don’t take your eyes off of it for a second when you do it.

You run a pretty high risk of setting a fire trying to do that.

Here’s what will happen…the very strong air assist is going to catch and blow out the top layers of teeny tiny cutout bits, which are not secured to each other, and blow them all over the machine, into the path of the beam where they will become flying flaming bits that wind up in the exhaust fan, and into the layers where they will let air in between the layers to feed the fire.

Get a Seklema mat, and cut them one at a time. You have to anchor paper down, all of it. :slightly_smiling_face:


In a fire, yeah. But with a laser beam? That’s kind of a whole different thing. :wink:


The problem is that you end up at odds with what you’re trying to accomplish. Cutting paper is a fairly delicate process that can quickly go from great results to junk results. The more paper you stack, the more power is required. At the least, you’re going to need a sacrificial top layer and probably a sacrificial bottom layer.

Depending on your card stock, you might not experience consistent results depending on how thick it is. Wood and acrylic do a good job of reflecting the beam inside the cutting path. I’m not so sure about paper (yes, I’m aware of what paper is made from)? Any minute gap in the paper assembly will probably serve to let the beam spread immediately.

If it were me, I would experiment with it, but I would keep an eagle eye on it and be prepared for it to go bad. If it were very thick stuff, like 10mil, I would do no more than 2 sheets. I’d also figure out settings that were fast and lower power (not FULL power!), and do it in 2 passes, at least.