Paper Cutting Using Laser ToolHead

Hi all,
Appreciate if anyone can help out here. The laser toolhead has been primarily used for engraving. However, it was advertised to be able to cut very thin materials as well such as paper. My wife loves paper craft and I was hoping to cut some for her. Using flux studio, the program accepts image files or vector files. However when i load the vector files into Flux Studio it seems to me that it converts it to an image files. I have not much prior experience to this but I do not think image file is a good idea for cutting. Anyone has any sucess or have tried anything in relation to this? Please kindly share your experience or advise on this matter. Many thanks.

so far i have not had much luck myself in cutting nor engraving into white paper. if your paper has color or such it might help. but what do you mean when you import the vector into flux that it changes it to an image file? a vector is an image.

Im not very well versed in vector files but what i am saying is although i imported a vector file Flux Studio will convert the file to jpeg/bmp or amth similar. I had luck cutting really thin printing papers and have not tried anything else, my issue is to ensure that Flux studio actually read vector file and print using vector file instead of converting it. Just my assumption though

i have a print going, so i can’t even check what would happen if i imported an .svg file, but it should just be what the picture looks like i hope.

Allright, let me know if u tried

so i tried today, and mine looked fine. are you sure the files you try and put in are not jpg files? you an use http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-svg to convert you file to an .svg and it should work fine.

Ok, will do. Ill give it another try. Thanks a lot :slightly_smiling:

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Hey Neoltd,

Just wanted to pass along the settings I used to successfully cut some 110 lb. card stock.

Note that the default “paper” engraving settings (2 mm/sec @ 100% power) will NOT work for cutting, as the test results below will demonstrate. I did get excellent results, however, by lowering speed to 0.8 mm/sec, based on this excellent post by milkdog. Based on that same post, I adjusted the focal point of the laser by setting the object height to 3 mm.

Here are the results I got using the 3 settings specified below:

As you can see based on the two svg files, all else being equal, setting the speed to 2 mm/sec will not cut through card stock of this thickness. Lowering it to 0.8 mm/sec, however, gave very clean results. Note that I didn’t test out any speeds between 0.8 & 2 mm/sec, so I’m not sure if it would have worked at a faster speed. But because these files were vector (i.e. svg) images, it still only took a little over 5 minutes at the lower speed.

At the top we have the results of my experiment using a bitmap image, in this case png format. As you can see, even with the speed set to 0.8 mm/sec, it’s not cutting all the way through the paper. I zoomed in on this portion to give a better idea of the results:

Note that I made the diamond image much smaller for the bitmap trial because if I kept it the same size as the vector images it would have taken close to 3 hours to complete, which I didn’t have the patience for. Again, I didn’t try doing this with even lower speeds, nor have I tried it on thinner paper, so it’s possible you could get cutting to work with a bitmap by tweaking those parameters.

One final caveat is that I created the image file in photoshop as a png & then converted it to svg (using this free online service, thanks to @swift3d for that). In order to get an acceptable result with this method, I had to make sure the lines I was drawing were only 1 pixel wide, as two pixels gave me two parallel paths post-conversion instead of the straight line that I wanted. So, you would probably get better results with a bitmap image if you used a thicker line, but I haven’t tested it out so I’m not sure. Also, this line thickness issue may have been exacerbated by the fact that I had to shrink the image from its original dimensions to get the smaller diamond.

Anyway, I hope that’s helpful!

best,
Casey

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Hey ppl

Here’s is my laser cutting experience.

I tried with the setting described above but did not even make a mark in the paper I had. This paper a bit thicker then normal printer papir (about 2 to 3 times thicker is my guess, we use it for watercolor painting).

I found that having an object height of 0.02 mm and a tool head speed of 1.8 mm/s @ 100% power gave me the cleanest cut.

To find the the optimal cut setup made a png file with a small circle in it and shifted it around. Each test cut to around 15-20 sec. I found that png files are not ideal for laser cutting, each cut came out different. See the picture below… some circles are almost cut all the way and some only half way.

When i was happy with the cutting setup i tried a more detailed image that i converted to an outlined svg in Adobe Illustrator.

But as you can see in the pictures above the white paper still had a noticeable burned discoloring even though the cutting setting where as tight as I could get them.

The quick fix was to use dark colored papir. In this case black paper where you have to study the cutout very closely to see any discoloration.

The darker colored papir cut fine with the same cutting settings. A 140mm diameter cut as seen above took about 35 minuttes to complete.
The swan was cut with a speed @ 2.5 mm/s which didn’t cut every line 100% so it ended up with some fizzy bits here and there. I reduced the speed to 1.8 mm/s for the Elsa cut and that gave a very nice result.

Now the plain white papir had a normal burnt paper smell. But the black paper had a very pungent toxic smell to it.

Also a note about Flux Studio; When you import the svg, the image shown is reduced in size for some reason. It is shown as a very “pixilated” image, especially after the image is resized to it’s original size. But the cuts come out fine.

The images was stroked with a 1pt (300ppi) stroke. and the snowflakes was with a .5pt stroke. and they all came out fine. The finest detail in the snowflakes are under 1mm mm across, i’m very happy with the level og detail. For sure, I could not have done this with my phat fingers and a blade :stuck_out_tongue:

Happy cutting

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