Settings for engraving cardstock and other papers

Hi, I’m new here and trying to find settings for Engraving paper. (I do see a lot of extensive posts on settings for Cutting paper, which I greatly appreciate.)
I tried out some settings for paper engraving on a GF at a university and they worked well, but now that I have my own GF, these settings aren’t working. (I’ve also worked on an Epilog 40 and the settings are differently noted.)
I know every paper is different and has to be tested. I’d like to learn what worked for people using cardstock and other weights of paper thicker than copy paper.

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there’s a preset in the GFUI for 20# paper. Should give you a good starting spot if nothing else.


Welcome to the forum.

The search function of the forum will be your best friend, Somewhat Comprehensive Testing of Settings for Cutting Paper and Cardstock


Having cut and engraved hundreds/thousands of pieces of paper I will say that there is nothing better than methodically testing. Paper is a finicky beast and you will simply have to test A LOT.

I’d suggest creating a small sample of your artwork, maybe just an inch square, to use as a tester. Plop it down and start with a setting and then adjust one parameter at a time.

The thickness, glossiness, pearlescence, even the color will dramatically affect your settings. I have had the same exact paper, just different colors (i.e. light whitish color vs bronze darker color) need utterly different settings. If you want to use engraving to cut all the way through, sometimes you will need to mask with a low-tack tape to avoid excessive burn marks.

EDIT: forgot to mention that some good strong magnets will be your friend when cutting paper. Make sure to secure the paper down to the cutting tray along the edges or you will end up with drift or even the piece completely blowing away.


Thanks! This fits my experience with my prior work on a big Epilog 40. Even, as you say, different colors of the same paper needing different settings, depending on what tone I’m going for. I’m going through the testing process with various papers and seeing some surprising differences between the two machines. It’s a learning curve. I’m sure I’ll be posting more questions. Grateful to hear others experiences. Would love to see some results of the engraves on paper.

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This was a while ago, but shows some of my most intricate results. Scroll through for lots of photos.

I will just echo what was said above. I use and have saved custom settings for a particular brand of decorative heavy-weight paper, but different designs sometimes don’t cut thru as cleanly.

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I’ve been using a board sprayed with Easy-Tack to hold my papers down instead of magnets. I cut a lot of posterboard for boxes to hold sets of stuff I sell, and even engrave the set name on them. I use the same board over and over to hold the paper and just respray it when I need to. I’m always afraid of magnets interfering with the head, plus they can’t keep the middle or small pieces from blowing around. The board keeps everything down.


I could see that working well for many uses, though in my particular use case having even a little residue on the backside would be a complication, so the magnets have done the trick. I got some almost-flat neodymium bar magnets that are only a couple mm high so there is no chance of interference from the head.

Magnets similar to these have worked well:

I had some of those. Broke one when I dropped it. I quit using them because they were so hard to remove (for me anyway) and they were really strong. I had even made a holder to keep them in made out of 1/8" wood with 1/8" plexi glued down on top so I could see them, and slots 3/8" away from each other, but even trying to put them in the slots, the magnets would snap together. I gave up and gave them to my husband to use in his shop. Guess it’s just me. I don’t do well with magnets! :laughing:

I have used magnets similar to those pretty much since day 1 (over 4 years ago)… They are so strong, I often have to use a tool of some type to remove them. Several have broken in the process. they are so strong.

I know several people have had issues but I never have, so I don’t let their comments prevent me from using what works.

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