My first attempt at working with paper… Card stock is a joy to work with as it cuts so cleanly and predictably. I just laid a sheet of plain printer paper down under the stock I was cutting to prevent flashback, and used flat magnets to hold in place. fast and simple. Layout was done in Illustrator with some clipart from Glowforge. I also cut some foiled paper circles on the laser to put behind some of the cutouts to create a metallic effect. Everything went together with glue stick so there was no gluing mess. Cards are 2x2". Once you get the pattern, it’s easy to make lots of these in a short time, and kinda fun!
I even tried a (somewhat lame) pop-up…
If you get serious about lasering lots of paper, I’d recommend making a vacuum tray:
So I made a fullsize tray replacement vacuum table. The idea is that it allows me to cut very lightweight materials without worrying about flyaways.
A quick disclaimer: It’s possible that this is a fire risk, airflow and contained spaces and all. I feel as though it isn’t, but I’m just a dude with a laser who thinks he’s got decent risk assessment skills. Use your noodle if you try something like this
Say you wanted to cut some rolled trace paper:
That is very cool! I followed the link, but have a few questions;
How much “open area” can you have and still pull sufficient vacuum? I imagine you could make matte masks for smaller jobs.
Do you get flashback from the stainless mesh onto the back side of the paper?
Do you have a source for the SS mesh?
Thanks for the idea!
And, do you see any burning on the bottom surface of the tray?
I’ve never mathed it out but the answer is “not too much”. I always cover the entire surface with printer paper if the material isn’t full size. As little open space as possible is best.
Not much, it helps if you have your settings dialed in. I sometimes mask cardstock (see my mandalas), but generally the flashback and smoke residue aren’t noticeable.
I’ll dig up my mesh source…
Here we go. I like these guys because the mesh is shipped flat, not rolled.
As for burning the interior of the tray, there’s some light scores. I always figured I’d line it with aluminum foil but never got around to it. Seems to be holding up well.
If you didn’t go through the thread I go deeper on fans and airflow/static pressure in one of the replies. It’s worth a read if you want to think of the technical limits.
Love your pop-up! Paper is an awesome medium.
Thanks for the details! I plan to build one of these.