Cutting custom photo mat board


So i am trying to do a custom photo frame using the Glowforge to cut the openings for the photos. Not trying to do anything fancy with a bevel. When I cut without a mask, there is smudgy burn marks that I can’t get off even with denatured alcohol or acetone. I tried masking with blue painter tape and the tape ends up taking up the top layer of the mat board when I peel it off. I got a special “frog tape” low tack tape for delicate surfaces but this is doing the same thing, even when I try to make it even less sticky by sticking it to my tshirt first. Anyone got any ideas for how to either make a not-too-sticky mask, or settings that don’t leave char marks on cream colored mat board?

I did have success with engraving captions for the photos, which was the whole point of the project, so now I am being nit picky about not having the char marks. thanks!


Yep! Try this:

Use a squeegee to apply it and activate the adhesive.

Also, settings of 180/65 work really well for cuts with minimal charring on mattboard. Just wipe with a paper towel after to remove the little left.


No idea what settings you are trying to use - and I haven’t cut matboard, but I do cut a of thick chipboard. I think you might have better luck taking it off of full power, if you’re using full power, and upping the speed. I like to make 2 passes at higher speeds for paper products, opposed to one pass at a lower speed.

To set up 2 passes, I find the one pass speed/power that cuts through just barely. Then, I change it to 2 passes and up the speed until the time is approximately the same as the one pass time.


I was cutting at 230 speed / 70 power. 270/70 was not cutting through reliably, especially once I added the masking tape, which is sometimes two layers thick based on how I am applying it.

So if 270/70 is just enough energy to cut the 0.050 mat board, I was wondering if the char marks downwind of the cut are more a function of power or speed. Or is it just joules and it will be the same assuming just enough energy to cut the material?