Has anyone with a PR unit yet tried to slice up a photograph on poster board to make a classic puzzle? If so, are the edge burns on each piece nominal or significant enough to interfere with the appreciation of the puzzle’s appearance?


Yeah works pretty well. I printed the photo on a simple HP Photo printer then used 3M 777 to stick it on PG. Then amped the cut power a couple percent and the speed 10~15%.


That’s great to hear. With two little ones in the way, I expect to make a lot of puzzles


I’m doing something wrong. How do you deal with the smoke and other residue? I glued a quick test on some MDF. The cut lines themselves were clean and the paper did not seem to burn or curl in any way. But the smoke and MDF residue is clearly a problem. I tried laying a mask over the image but when removed it also removed ink. (Glossy Photo Paper, Inkjet printer) The masking material I’m using is the standard low tack laser masking. Would be very happy with the puzzle if could figure a way to mask it.


How would it work to put the image side down on the bed and cut from the top over it? That often lessens smoke if you dial in the cut to barely go through.


I did it upside down. Picture side on the bed. Then inverted the puzzle in AI.


I would laminate the photo with something like this, before applying masking to the front. Or if you don’t like glossy I believe there are matte laminating materials available. That should seal the photo and make it possible to remove the masking after cutting.


Or you could apply a thin coat of Mod Podge, (either gloss or matte), and let it dry. It would be wipeable, and will seal the picture off from the smoke residue.

Gives a nice finish too. (Decoupage)


Besides the other recommendations you could do a sacrificial layer of something like 1/8" or 1/16" plywood on top and adjust the power/speed accordingly. The cuts you care about will be inside the sandwich along with the photo.


I’m doing one this week actuall for a friend. But is an actual photo print (b&w) that my son did in the darkroom. Luckily he has a few fails I can use to test

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OK. This is almost acceptable. Probably would benefit further with a few process changes. I used one of my wife’s drawings that was inkjet printed on glossy photo paper. Used spray contact adhesive to put it on MDF. Sprayed Polyurethane over the photo to protect the print. After the poly dried I put masking material over the photo. (The poly keeps the masking from pulling the ink off the paper when you are peeling it) Placed the photo in the laser face down and cut the puzzle pieces. Obviously I didn’t size the puzzle correctly. Couldn’t see the photo for position and guessed incorrectly. Either way, there is still some edge discoloration but not too bad.


Pray share when done.

Love this. I plan to make all sorts of puzzles. Face down seems to be the current good practice.

Anybody care to overlay something on a photo face up? Like a ‘hard mask’. That might also help with smoke & give a cleaner cut(?)

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Looks good to me ! With the poly-spray, doesn’t that minor discoloration wipe off 9maybe with a dab of goo-gone?). Still cannot believe your wife’s artwork !! amazing. :heart_eyes:

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Didn’t notice any discoloration with the brand of Poly spray I used. Not home right now so can’t look at the name/type.

Oh. You meant the smoke. Didn’t try real hard because was a little worried about wetting the MDF and the photo curling up. It was an interim test for the pic. Will get serious later.

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I wonder if a different type of wood would generate less smoke or soot?

Has anybody tried balsa?

Now that REALLY came out nice!


I think this looks great!

Thanks. I think MDF is probably the worst choice of backing. It throws up an incredible amount of smoke and sticky residue. (Maybe pine might be worse with the sap). This was just a test. One of us will eventually want to make picture puzzles as a real project, spending the time to work out process and best material.


I’ll have to find some thicker chipboard that is like a normal jigsaw puzzle backing. It cuts so well. I have a desk blotter calendar that is pretty thick, but would have to do two layers glued up. Spent some time with the Inkscape puzzle generator last night.

Here is one that is just slightly smaller than the usable bed area.