Quick Tip: Scoring improves surface quality


#1

While Proofgrade is awesome for having masking already present, I do a LOT of work with non-proofgrade. Especially when I break out the cardboard to proof-of-concept prior to doing a final job.

I realized with my latest new material acquisition that there is a MAJOR difference in the surface of the material if you first run all of your cut lines as a score, THEN run them as the full cut.

For a stark example: I used an amazon cardboard box to test some lettering for a large sign and see if I made the bridges large enough on letters which have internal voids (a,e,d,o…). I thought the cardboard was going to cut real easy, so I ran it at 500 speed and 40 power. Did NOT cut through. I knew that if I went full power I would be risking fire, so I ran the 500/40 again, still not through. I finally decided to just blast the full power. Got through with no burning! Yippee!

So, having done each of the modified letters and seen that the bridges were large enough, I then ran the full sign. Since I knew the 500/40 wasn’t good enough, and I had survived the 500/full… I just started with 500/full.

Basically every bridge burned.

Next run, I did the 500/40, then a 500/full.

No bridges burned.

I have since then used this trick on wood as well (light score, then full cut), and found that the charring on the surface is reduced rather considerably. I assume that there is a channel due to the score and it helps to focus the air assist and remove more of the debris. Not sure. But it does make for a pleasant end effect, with just a little more time spent running the job.


#2

Sounds like a neat trick that’s worth trying. (I’m going to shift it to the Tips and Tricks section.) :sunglasses::+1:


#3

are you scoring-scoring? or just running 2 cuts with different power?


#4

Ultimately the same thing.


#5

Definitely worth a try.


#6

I’m wondering if it’s not because you are basically getting the initial pierce out of the way by breaking the surface layer.


#7

But how charred are the sides of whatever you cut? Are they clean or ash covered?


#8

This is a great tip. I’ve been doing something similar–multiple light runs, followed by a final hot run–on cardstock and paper items to reduce char.

It’s also a huge help on leather, if you’re using non-proofrade. Very thin leathers (like Tandy’s chrome-free liner leathers) shrink 10-15% with a single hot cut, but if you do three or four cool cuts the shrinkage is minimal.


#9

Hard to say on cardboard how the edge quality was. I will try to pay attention to differences in edge quality when I use a real material in the future.


#10

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