How to laser cut paper tips and tricks

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we hope this blog will come in handy for you to create a great laser cut paper card for your loved one.

Factory Enova - laser cut paper - laser cut mat board

Factory Enova – laser cut cardstock paper

Laser cut paper can be tricky sometimes because of the burnt edges caused by the laser beam. This may not be a consideration at times, but for some applications, it is preferable to make a clean cut. We want to share a few tips to keep the clean edges when laser cutting mat board or paper.

Preparing laser cut file:

  • 1. Make sure the cutting lines are not too close together, keep at least 0.01″ between each laser cut lines. Even though the laser machine has a much higher resolution than 0.01″, it is still limited by the paper or the material being laser cut, including cardstock, mat board, paper, wood, and even acrylic.
  • 2. Make sure the cut lines are not crossing each other
  • 3. Check out our laser cut files templates, it might save you some time for your own projects!

Using the laser machine:

  • 1. Make sure your air assist is on! Also check to make sure you have good air pressure. Our Epilog Laser uses this feature to great effect.
  • 2. Make sure the paper is completely flat on the table.
  • 3. Make sure the vector table or honeycomb table is clean. If there is debris left over or anything that blocks the holes in the cutting table, this can trap air and smoke against the surface of the paper, causing more burn marks.
  • 4. The best frequency for cutting paper is 500Hz, however, we have noticed that by raising this frequency up to near 1000-1200Hz, burnt marks are minimized or even disappear. It is best to laser cut a few simple shapes to test out the laser cut setting before running the entire job.
  • 5. This is common sense for any laser users out there, but make sure your laser lens is clean and the laser is focused.

Note: Our shop uses Epilog Laser and here is a video of this laser machine in action: cutting intricate lace pattern!

We hope this “How to laser cut paper” blog will help with your future laser cutting projects. If you like this post, we think you might also like How to laser cut acrylic

P.S. Are you interested in printing your photos on wood? Check out Woodscape Prints

 

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Laser Cut Finger Chamber for Pulse Detection

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Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

Construct a dark chamber with laser cut parts for the index finger to fit sensors and detect a pulse created by the blood flowing in finger.

Here at factory Enova, I have made use with the laser cutting machines to work on my senior project. This is a great place to create and complete any ideas that are assigned or just for fun. Early this week I worked on a laser cut piece for the chamber part of the pulse detector. This pare will be able to house the electronic components apart from the main circuit.

The materials that I used to test what could be best to do this are wood, foam and cardboard which can also be used together for an even better structure. I have not yet chosen what my exact pulse chamber will be or look like, but it must be comfortable for the index finger to be pressing against the pulse sensor. After mocking up the design to fit an index finger or rather the tip of that finger, the information is sent to the laser cutter to make my small pieces. Assembly will be either with glue or electrical tape; black tape being the best to hide all other light that can interrupt the detection of the blood going through the finger to the sensor.

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Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

However, you may want to play around with a design that would work best for the main circuit. Sometimes the way it is shaped or assembled will not work and cause the project to be more difficult than it really has to be. This project of mine is ongoing in hopes to being able to detect the pulse created by the blood flow inside our index finger.

Make your ideas come to life. Click the hyperlink and get started on your next project!

– Justine Siron
Factory eNova’s Super Intern

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Laser Engraved Graduation Cap

Laser Engraved Graduation Cap

Photo Credit: Jaime Soriano

Create a graduation cap design to be engraved onto light weight material for displaying during commencement.

Need a creative way to design your graduation cap? Well laser engraved grad caps are a good way to do it. I thought instead of the usual stickers and glitter or freehand drawings, why not use engraving to help.

Customization during graduation will make an individual stand out from others in the crowd and may help your family find you easily. The designs are endless and can go along with your major concentration or words of inspiration.

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Photo Credit: Leah Legaspi

I started to first find the measurements to have a template to work around and have my designs fit. The standard cap size is 9 ¼ inch by 9 ¼ inch as well as the center circle to be cut out where the tassel goes. Once this part is taken care of I moved onto the creative grad cap designs.

By using what I have learned during school I made circuit like designs. My imagination took me to find many designs to choose from and so can yours. The ones featured in the photos are what came about from my imagination to display during graduation. And of course thanking those who have supported me throughout my education journey.

Engraving words and phrases such as your graduating class, your school, or shot sayings i.e. “I did it!” like the designs seen here. Once the designing process is complete I moved on to having the laser engraver finish the task.

CSULB Laser Engraved Graduation Cap

Photo Credit: Jaime Soriano

In order to do this project I used a light weight material that would best fit on top of the cap which goes on my head. I found that matte board is a good way to start. It is lighter than wood and is able to be cut through by the lasers. Aluminum had come out very nice but would only be good for a long lasting keep sake since the center circle could not be cut out. I however did not try cardstock, a heavy paper that may have been ever lighter, but not suitable for engraving deep groves. So matte board happened to be the best for this laser grad cap designs.

So for anyone graduating and want to have an awesome design with shout outs on them or creative engravings to show off this is the best way to do it.   

Graduates come in and make your designs come to life. Click this hyperlink and get one made too!

– Justine Siron
Factory eNova’s Super Intern

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The First Episode Of Our New Making Show – Laser Cut Acrylic

We’re starting a line of tutorial videos this year! Check out our first video below about making laser cut acrylic accessories with our talented Studio Manager Randa! Give it a view and tell us what you think!

THE SHOW

Making Made Easy is a Making Show focused on Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving, 3D Printing, and UV Printing. In this episode we’ll provide some tips for working with acrylic to make laser cut rings.

This process can be used to make other accessories. You can make earrings and necklaces just by simply getting hoops and chains to bind them together. Make a few of these accessory pieces and you’ll be ready to create a Laser Cut Acrylic Jewelry Stand.

We have many more projects in the works! If you have an idea of what we should make next feel free to comment below or send us an email!

ABOUT US

Factory eNova is striving to become the easiest to use “maker studio” in Orange County, California. Our goal is to give artists, designers, engineers, makers, and entrepreneurs access to new equipment and the knowledge to use it.

SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

http://www.facebook.com/factoryenova
http://www.twitter.com/factoryenova
http://www.pintrest.com/factoryenova
http://www.plus.google.com/1020447766…

CREDITS

Location: Factory eNova (@factoryenova)
www.factoryenova.com

Host/Hand Model: Randa Zogheib (@peppermintdawn)
https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeppermintDawn

Writer/Videographer/Editor: Dannie Phan (@dannie_phan)
https://www.donegeemedia.com & https://www.bergwindgroup.com

Music: “Carefree” by Kevin MacLeod (@kmacleod)
http://incompetech.com/

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UV Printing Services Available

Last year we ran a Kickstarter Champaign in hopes of getting a UV Printer in our studio space for members to use. While we were not able to reach our goal to develop the course program, we are still able to provide UV Printing Services to the public.

If you’re looking for UV Printing service, we are now taking inquires at service@factoryenova.com. Check back on our website often because we will be launching a dedicated information page and gallery for this in the coming weeks.

Here is a quick recap of the benefits of UV Printing from one of our older blog posts:

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Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT IS UV PRINTING
Ultraviolet printing is the process of using UV inks, which are dried and cured with UVlight. With this process you can add multiple layers and gloss to create a variety of textures.

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Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT CAN IT PRINT ON?
This specific printer uses a low heat lamp that enables printing on a wide range of materials, including PVC, PET, ABS, wood, boards, acrylic, and metal. It’s even capable of printing onto electronics so you can print directly onto the back of your phone or laptop.

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Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ME?
This allows you to create and customize a wide variety of products, as well as their prototypes, packaging and parts. From toys and sports gear to promotional items the possibilities are endless.

UV Printer-5

UV Printer-3

UV Printer-8

UV Printer-9

UV Printer-7 UV Printer-6

Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

 Like what you see? Feel free to shoot us an email at service@factoryenova.com to get color onto your next project or product.

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Happy Holiday from your Maker Studio

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Studio Hours

Please take note of these special holiday studio hours and plan accordingly

December 24th: CLOSED
December 25th: CLOSED
December 26th: CLOSED

December 31st: CLOSED
January 1st: CLOSED

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The Final Kickstarter Update

First off, we would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone’s support through our month long campaign. Due to the rate of pledges made on Kickstarter, the Factory eNova team has made the painful decision to cancel the campaign and to refocus our search for funding by other means such as grants and services.

While the UV printer is expected to currently remain in the studio, it will not be available to our members until we can retrieve enough capital to pay off the printer so that we can guarantee that it will remain in the space before we begin offering courses. While grants and services are viable options, it will be preventing us from sharing it with members of the space till we truly understand the opportunity cost in everyday ware. Since there is only one printer in the space, we simply cannot take the risk having it break down like we have experienced with our laser systems from everyday member usage.

While this pushes back our overall timeline of having the UV Printer available to our members, we believe that this will allow us to become fully acquainted with the printer and provide a well-rounded course in the future.

Anyone that has made a pledge will not be charged but as a big thank you, those that supported this campaign through a pledge will receive discounts on UV printing services. We will honor any laser related pledges. If you are still interested in an item listed below just send us an email at info@factoryenova.com.

Pledge rewards honored are as followed:

[20] Spishutter, [25] Engraved Business Card Holder, [50] Personalized Mugs, [60] Leather Bracelets, [60] Personalized Thermos, [60] Personalized Multitool, [85] Laser Cutting Beginner Package

Again, we would like to express our extreme gratitude for believing in us and we hope to see you in our studio again soon. Keep following us on social media and our email list for further updates regarding the UV Printer.

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Black Friday Deals of 2014

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Black Friday Deals

Perfect presents for any maker in your life. 

The whole Fe Team would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving weekend and a big thank you for following us. Make sure to take part and share our flash sale during Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Visit our website to take advantage of our best deals of the year. Hurry because they’re only available till December 1st.

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Add Color to Your Items With a UV Printer

WE’RE ON KICKSTARTER!
Our Kickstarter for a UV Printer is now live! Check it out at: http://bit.ly/SupportFE and make a pledge so that you can be the first to use this printer yourself. Or you could pledge to have us provide service options for you. Hurry because some of the rewards are limited.

Learn more about UV Printing below:

img12

Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT IS UV PRINTING
Ultraviolet printing is the process of using UV inks, which are dried and cured with UVlight. With this process you can add multiple layers and gloss to create a variety of textures.

img02

Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT CAN IT PRINT ON?
This specific printer uses a low heat lamp that enables printing on a wide range of materials, including PVC, PET, ABS, wood, boards, acrylic, and metal. It’s even capable of printing onto electronics so you can print directly onto the back of your phone or laptop.

img10

Photo Courtesy of Roland DGA

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ME?
This allows you to create and customize a wide variety of products, as well as their prototypes, packaging and parts. From toys and sports gear to promotional items the possibilities are endless.

 

WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IN COST FOR DIY MODEL AND GOING TO A TRADITIONAL PRINTER?
This UV Printer is very unique because there’s no one in our local area that we know of that offers printing on raised or 3d materials. You’ll be able to find people using UV printing on traditional paper but this takes it beyond flat paper print. There are a handful of online vendors that will do a specific line of items and often times wont allow for full customization with multiple layers of ink or spot gloss to create textures. But just for kicks we have a comparison below:

 

UV Printer-1

UV Printer-2

Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

Image on 12×20 Birch Plywood
Online Shops: $80
DIY Option: $5 for the wood $10-$16 for the ink and time ($15-$21)

Perfect for photographers and graphic designers to get their work on new mediums. It’s not just limited to wood, you can print onto canvas, plastics, and metals too!

UV Printer-5 UV Printer-3

Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

36 Photo Magnets
Online Shops: $120
DIY Option: $10 magnets $10-$16 for the ink and time ($20-$26)

This is a great example of small items that can be added into a small business catalogue of items. Why stop at magnets when you can make custom photo jewelry and coasters.

 

UV Printer-8

UV Printer-9

Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

Pair of Custom Moleskin
Online Shops: $150
DIY Options: $25 for notebook $10-$16 for the ink and time ($35-$41)

Brand and market your company on products that you love. With other providers, some products require a minimum of 100 orders and others may limit you on the amount of color on your final piece.

 

UV Printer-7 UV Printer-6

Photo Credit: Dannie Phan

14 Phone Cases
Online Shops: $500
DIY Option: $30 for the cases $10 – $16 for the ink and time ($40-$46)

If you’re looking to develop a new prototype or develop a small volume of customizable items, it can be much faster to develop it domestically so that you can have quick turnarounds and immediately make changes to your product during production.

 

HOW HARD IS THIS TO LEARN?

It’s as easy as drag and drop! It’s very similar to using a normal printer, except you’ll have a handful of more options to chose from such as adding multiple layers or gloss. If you have any experience with graphic design it will be a piece of cake.

 

I’VE NEVER BEEN TO A MAKER STUDIO. WHEN CAN I VISIT YOU?

Feel free to swing by our studio at 16540 Harbor Blvd, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 during our normal business hours of M-F 10am-8pm and Sa-Su 10am-6pm.

If you would like to bring a bunch of your friends or organize a group tour with our founders give us a call at (657) 210-4637 or email us at info@factoryenova.com and we can set something up!

We will be hosting a handful of Open Houses and Demo Events on the following days:

Saturday, November 15th – 11AM – 1PM
Thursday, November 20th – 7PM – 9PM
Monday, November 24th – 7PM – 9PM
Wednesday, December 3rd – 7PM – 9PM

We would be super excited to see you in our space!

And just a friendly reminder: Our Kickstarter for a UV Printer is now live!  So pledge now!

 

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Learn how to make an awesome marble maze game in 5 steps!

What if your next laser cut project was not only pleasing to the eye but functional as well?  Practicality has been our recent focus for laser cut and engraved projects to help liven up the space here at Factory eNova.

One of the new interactive decorations we have displayed is our marble maze.  It is made up of three different sections that were created from layers of wood and are covered by a clear acrylic sheet to keep the marbles from falling out.  The steps to creating this maze were easy, but you can decide for yourself:

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Step 1: Decide on a concept for each of your maze sections and the number of sections you would like to have.  We created three sections, one of which consisted of planks of wood representing platforms.

Step 2: Design the maze portions using design software, in our case Corel Draw.  This part was easier than it may look.  For the peg board we literally duplicated circles and used a simple step and repeat function to cut them out of the wood.  For the middle board or route section we just used the paint brush tool to create curvy lines that the laser could easily cut out.  These are tricks that even the most novice user can pick up quickly.

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Step 3: Design a cool outer cover to the maze in order to keep the marbles in.  We used a clear acrylic in our maze but you can use whatever color you would like.  Make sure to cut a slot in the acrylic sheet that will cover the bottom section of the maze to retrieve the marbles.

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Step 4: Laser cut all of the pieces you have now designed following settings specific to the material you are cutting.  Lastly, you will need to cut support pieces to rest the acrylic sheets on.

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Step 5: This is the most time-consuming part – the assembly.  In our case it required a lot of gluing of the wood portions and some drilling in order to secure the acrylic covers.

  • Project Design Time: 2 hrs
  • Project Laser Time: 96 min
  • Project Build and Mount Time: 2 hrs

Come check out this and other interactive decorations that inspire and showcase just the tip of the iceberg of creative possibilities here at Factory eNova!

 

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