One thing I’ve gathered from owning a laser cutter for a few months is that I love watching it cut paper. There’s something so oddly satisfying about watching the focused beam of light blast through paper, leaving behind delicate and intricate patterns. I just can’t get enough.

Just check out these videos. Most of them are marketing materials for various companies and it is easy to see why. Watching lasers cut paper is just plain fun.

The kerf (or width) of even cheap lasers is around a half millimeter or better. This allows you to pull off all kinds of crazy intricate designs, especially if you have something that burns away as easily as paper.

This example from epilog shows off how you can cut away enough that what is left over seems almost not even there. This is some impressive paper cutting!

For me, just watching the laser cut this design is just as much of a payoff as the final product.

 

These last two are particularly interesting because they aren’t using the typical gantry style laser. Instead, they’re using galvos, or high speed mirrors, to aim the beam. This means that the laser flits from place to place faster than your eye can even follow. This adds an extra dimension of fun to the process.