Missing considerations before first big project?

I am about to embark on cutting / engraving 100+ 4"x6" wedding invitations (sorta like this). Can you help me make sure I’m not missing anything or doing anything obviously wrong before I embark on this project?

I already made a design from scratch in Inkscape, used “Convert object to path” on the fonts, and tested it out on draftboard. It looks good! So, I’m about to put in an order for 35 pieces of proofgrade hardwood (maybe this) – the plan is to cut 3 invitations side-by-side on each sheet.

  • I noticed that for some designs the laser scans back and forth like a laser-jet printer, but for others it follows the curvature of a path. What controls which thing happens?
  • The design currently takes 15+ minutes to print on draftboard; are there common tips for speeding it up?
  • Are there any other considerations for bulk projects like this?

Thank you!!

The side to side motion happens for engraving, which all of the text is going to be, unless you use a single stroke font and those require special preparation, and are very limited. (You’re not going to get much in the way of choices, and it’s going to look very stick-like.)

The laser will follow along a vector path or stroke, if Score is selected, or if you intend to Cut the path.

You can speed up the engrave somewhat by choosing the SD setting instead of HD - it’s going to reduce the travel time and number of passes on the text. (If you want to go to Manual settings, you can reduce that further, but the time savings aren’t going to be that much.)

The only other consideration with bulk projects is making sure that the buffer can handle the load and since the recent improvements files are a lot easier to load so just test one by putting three of your invitations on one bed, hitting Print, and seeing how long it takes to print the project. (You can Cancel it after you get a time estimate, you don’t have to actually cut it, but it will point out any problems before you waste material.)


Oh and hardwood is great, but leave yourself a little bit of room at the edges - trying to cut too close to an edge will cause flashback from the air feeding in at the sides.

In other words - you’re not going to get three similarly sized invitations from one 12" x 6" piece of hardwood. (Unless you don’t mind that they’re not exactly 4" x 6" each. Depends on how close you want to get, and they can be off by up to 1/4" on placement. It would be tough to do.)

The plywood might work just as well and you can get some spacing, and more invitations per sheet. I wouldn’t want to see you buy 35 of the smaller hardwood sheets and then realize that you couldn’t get three to a sheet. Test it on one first to see if it’s what you want.


Thank you for the wonderful help @Jules. @ruttles I’m going to close this post. If you have questions as you embark on this project, please create a new post!