Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Art & Science of Laser Cutting Paper

Paper Dance

Laser cutters are great at cutting paper, but to many that seems counter-intuitive. After all, we are talking about a focused beam capable of cutting through ¼ inch wood and acrylic by vaporizing the material through the stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms. Looking at it that way, paper doesn’t stand a chance.Military_laser_experiment

There’s the trick of it, though, your laser software is able to manipulated the laser to such a degree as to delicately “kiss” the paper so gently you get perfect cuts every time, with no burnt edges or charring. It is all done in your laser settings. For RetinaEngrave v3.0 users, this is easy to control and experiment with different paper stocks using power, speed and current settings.Paper Design

Once you hone in on the right settings for your paper, the real magic happens. You discover that with RE3’s built-in design tools, you can create amazing combinations of text fonts, patterns and custom designs. Here again, the software enables you to create designs that would be impossible with more traditional paper cutting methods. Plus, with the designs saved in the software, you can alter or replicate endless paper-based projects.paper example pop up card

Today, because of laser and software technology, the act of paper cutting incredible pieces of art and beauty has become a true phenomenon. Nearly any paper type or thickness works great with a laser cutter and the precision of the cut allows for unimaginable intricate detail. If you have a mind for art using paper, the modern laser cutter may be the perfect tool to add to your arsenal.  

Learn more about lasers and paper in our Materials Blog and our Laser 101 learning pages.Laser 101 Project Family Shot 2-1