Question about settings for cutting designs in handmade papers

I am a newbie with using the Glowforge and mostly use the QR materials. I am wondering if anyone has used handmade paper in the Glowforge and if so what settings have you experimented with that work?
Thank you,

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There is a wonderful post on working with paper, let me see if I can find it.

Regardless, it will take some testing to find settings that work with your material.


That would be COMPLETELY up to how the paper was made… Best bet is to just stick some in (pin it down) and start testing with some simple shapes. I’d probably go with something in the 15-20 power range at most… Then it would come down to speed.

Also, because this is non proofgrade material, this needs to be in the beyond the manual section. I’ve moved it there for you. :slight_smile:


I am moving this to Beyond the Manual since that is the only place we can discuss non proofgrade materials.

A forum search will expose quite a few discussions of paper and cardstock, but I don’t remember any specifically about handmade paper.

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Hi. Yes, I have, done that but, with limited success. A lot of handmade papers are of variable density. So, it is difficult to get generalized settings. Your best bet is to do some testing on the particular paper you want to use.

We are not allowed to discuss settings anywhere besides the Beyond the manual Section. So, I am moving this there.

Also, be aware that posting in the Problems & Support category opens a support ticket with a Glowforge and, that they can’t help with non-Proofgrade materials.

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Beat ya to it. :smiley:

You too. :rofl:

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… unless @kanati or @dklgood does it while I am still typing.

What they said - I’ve found that even machine made papers have variation - so expect to have to do some punching out if you’re cutting instead of engraving, but I’d dig up the settings folks have posted for material that’s similar in thickness and make a test that ranges up and down from there - and watch it like a hawk until you’ve figured out what’s the max you can use without starting a fire…then keep watching even after that. Paper can be sneaky. Personally I go for engraving because there’s nothing to get blown around but time is not a factor for me.

Also, if you haven’t seen the post about seklema mats (or the homemade version of seklema mats) you should search for that.


Here you go:

Again, you’re not going to find perfect settings for your material, but you can get an idea of how to work up to them.


Lots of settings will work to cut through the paper. In fairly short order you’ll see pros and cons of different settings.

I cut some heavy paper, 30 years ago I would have called it poster board, last October and iirc a power setting of 22 to 24 worked well at the fastest speed. Thinner papers will cut through at a power as low as 5.

The slower the speed the more energy you deposit in the material. The higher the power the more energy you deposit in the material. For engraving, the higher the LPI the more power you are depositing.

So start fast and use low power for paper and then experiment.


This, for sure. I have had several handmade papers (e.g. Amate bark paper) that produced a very slow burn that could have caused a delayed problem if I hadn’t been watching carefully.


Thank you so much!! I figured I would just start at the lowest setting and stop when it catches on fire :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I really appreciate it!


Thank you so much!

Thank you so much! Like I said, I’m a total newbie with all of this. AND you are all amazing, thank you for your help.


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