Thickness: Any GSM
Sheet sizes: Any sheet size up to 3000×1500mm
We don’t hold stock or special order any paper material, you will need to supply this to us. We advise you to purchase straight from GF Smith of Fenner paper two fantastic paper merchants for the creative industries. You can order the sample pack directly from them or if you are London based, you can browse through our samples pack in the studio.
On most papers, protective backing can’t be used as it rips the surface. Backing can be applied to some paper if it sticks successfully and peels off without causing damage. Since there are so many different types of papers and cards all ranging in GSM they react slightly differently to the laser.
We have established standard settings for different paper gsm ranging from 90gsm to 700 gsm. We also run a quick test of your supply to establish an optimum setting for your material. Usually cut at as fast a speed as possible with just the right power to cut through consistently.
Certain chemicals and dyes in papers produce more fumes than others which can cause heat / scorch marks on the top surface. There is no exact science to it but as a benchmark the thinner the paper being cut the less marks will occur. Some papers can be cut with little or no markings at all. The darker the tone of your paper or card the less visible burn marks will be. Other papers release fumes which can mark the surface with a yellow tinge, particularly on lighter tones. From our experience recycled stocks tend to produce a higher level of marks.
Where possible we try to float sheets of paper using aluminium lamella to keep reverse markings to a minimum. If your artwork is quite dense this will not be possible and will need to use honey comb.
When using the honeycomb laser bed marks will be evident on the reverse side of the paper where the laser comes in contact with the honeycomb cells. Heat from the laser causes residues on the honeycomb to transfer back onto the material. We try to keep this to an absolute minimum using a low laser power but unfortunately sometimes it is unpreventable.
As a benchmark, we recommend that minimum cut widths be no smaller than the corresponding thickness of the material and no thinner than 1mm. Any smaller will make your cut outs very fragile. See more on cut widths and Kerf (how much the laser takes away.)
Just like cutting paper, engraving requires testing to establish how certain stocks react to the laser. In most case the laser will engrave and slightly discolour the paper surface producing a very subtle brown / orange marking. On some stocks, the engraving will not mark at all and just appear recessed. We always recommend having a sample made up prior to running a larger batch to determine the best engraved result.