Paper & card - laser cutting materials

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Hiya @lasertechs

I have a sneaky suspicion people do cut these materials, but it’s not on the approved material list so I’d thought I’d ask, can I cut the following materials:

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Coloured card
  • Cardboard

I was thinking of cutting coloured card stock, and then layering it up to form cool maps (Not super original I know!) Is it one of those things where you can cut card it’s just a bit tricky and inconsistent?

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:


Many people have been doing it with different degrees of success, the problem is that is so easy to set anything on fire.

Cutting fast with minimum power and rise it up to the point you can cut seems to be the safest option.

Don’t do the other way around.

Also, don’t use plastic coated paper


They are allowed, but make sure they don’t have non-laserable vinyl or other coating on.

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Hi John,

Paper / cardboard are fine as long as no dodgy coatings as Petra was saying.

I’ve cut loads of cardboard before, even scoring it for folding etc…

Also, there is a member @Kuniko who does amazing stuff with cutting paper on the laser cutter so maybe send her a message and see if she can give you some tips? :slight_smile:


Thanks everyone for your tips!

Andrea - I’ll follow that tactic for any new thickness of paper/card

Steve - ooo scoring sounds exciting

Hi John,

I recently cut 300gsm card and used the following settings:

Power: 8%
Speed: 0.8
Passes: 2

This worked really well but it took a bit of experimentation. A power of 9 and speed of 0.9 didn’t cut all the way.

I cut paper from the printer too but didn’t make a note of the settings. However, if you look for ‘paper paper paper’ in the materials database I think that setting works for copy paper. There is also a setting for 240gsm paper in the materials database.

Hope that helps.


I have some fabric that is plastic-based (most likely PVC and other naughty materials). I’m guessing this is a big no-no? I’m being lazy and wanting to design and cut multiple patterns at once. I’ve had my induction but can’t for the life of me remember the exact details of the do not laser list. TIA

When in doubt, check the Tool page!

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I have been cutting 500 micron cardboard (this one: ) and saved the settings on the Trotec material database under “Jo - cardboard” or something similar. I suspect they are still there, although it’s been a few months (I ended up getting myself a Diode Laser, which works great for cardboard). I have also played around with layered customized maps, although different from the ones you had in mind, here is an example and here:
I even ended up putting them on Etsy…under
Let me know if I can help.


After a big of trial and error I’ve managed to get 200gsm black card to work.

I’m working to design and make one of these:

My cut setting is saved as lawrence_cut on the laser cutter if you want to use that as a guide

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I managed paper cutting the other week thanks to the advice on this thread. My thoughts/findings below, but inspired by @Glennbo 's numbers!

I will post the settings I used, it’s saved as ‘JW Paper 130gsm’ or similar.

I found a lot of different profiles, my comments on speed:

  • 10 - did work, but needed relatively high power to cut through. I did notice small wobbles in the outline when going round tight corners. There was a profile that had this speed setting.
  • 5 - on the blue sheet on the wall. Probably a sensible top speed, but still had some wobble on tight corners, perhaps backlash in the mechanism or something else.
  • 1 - no wobbles at this speed and still plenty quick enough

Number of cuts…
I found two was the sweet spot. The first pass would score deeply and maybe punch through in a few places, they the second would cleanly detach it. Full power on first pass would release the paper and sometimes curl up. For Islands (in my case actually sometimes) in thin paper it might be prudent to do them in a separate job first. That said I never had any fail.

Colour of the paper…
I found that a power setting for one colour was not always enough for another. Given it’s IR I hadn’t thought visible colour would make any difference! It might have been something else, but something I noticed.

Thanks everyone for your help on this thread!


Thanks for sharing @John.W

When I cut above a speed of 1 in the past I had some wobbling issues (I forgot to mention that).

It hadn’t occurred to me that colour of paper would be a factor either. Good to know though.

I love the map!