happy birthday card laser cut

Print&Cut Birthday Card

Make a cheerful pop-out birthday card using your Trotec laser! You are able to achieve distortion-free cuts with the JobControl® Vision camera system, which reads printed registration marks on your material, and automatically compensates for any deviations.


Equipment and Materials

Materials

  • Printed paper (200 gsm) for the inner card components
  • Printed or coloured paper (300 gsm) for the outer card component
  • Adhesive dots (9 per card)

We recommend using Trotec's LaserPaper for this project. Materials from this collection are designed for optimal printing and laser processing results.

Trotec Laser and Accessories

NOTE: You can use the SP500 or any laser system from the Speedy series for this application. In addition, your laser should be equipped with the JobControl® Vision camera system.

Tips

  • Use card stock with a minimum weight of 150 gsm to create the inner card components. This will allow these pieces to hold their form when opened.
  • Prior to sending the job to your printer, ensure to enable the Bézier curve option in the driver settings. Otherwise, JobControl® Vision will not recognize the registration marks during laser processing.
  • A UV printer, such as those offered by Mimaki, will yield crisp and precise results

Step by Step

Step 1: Prepare the Inner Card Component Artwork

Create your own design, or import our template (below) and make any desired adjustments to the graphics. To personalize your card, you can add the name and age of the recipient. Once your artwork has been finalized,  proceed to print your card. 

Next, send your design to your Trotec laser using the settings below. Only send the registration marks and cut lines; deactivate the layer with the other design details so that they are not cut.

Print Settings

Process mode Resolution Cut line
Standard 1000 dpi none
Halftone Others
Color enhanced geometries
inner geometries first

Step 2: Laser Process the Inner Card Components

The optimal cut parameters may vary depending your laser system's available wattage.

Processing Parameters

Laser Parameters Colour Process Power (%) Speed (%)
 RegMark  Black  RegMark  -  -
 Creasing  Red Cut CO2  3.5 2
 Cutting  Blue Cut CO2  7 1
 Cutting  Desert blue Cut CO2  15 4
ppi/Hz Passes Air Assist Z-Offset Advanced
- - - - -
1000 1 on +1.5 mm -
1000 1 on - -
1000 1 on - Correction 20

Step 3: Position the Artwork in JobControl®

Send the inner card component artwork in JobControl®, and place the printed sheet of paper on your laser's work area.

In JobControl®, move the job from the queue to the plate. Move the laser pointer to the centre of any registration mark on the sheet on your laser's work area. Then, drag the corresponding crosshairs to the corresponding registration mark on the JobControl® interface.

Tip

Use the “What you see is what you get” function (WYSIWYG) in JobControl® to more easily position the laser pointer.


Step 4: Calibrate the camera

First adjust the focus on the paper. To calibrate the camera, go to Settings - Options - Hardware - Vision. The goal is to have the registration mark stand out from the background.
Next, move the camera to any registration mark on the print. With the ideal settings of Exposure, Gamma and Threshold, the circle around the registration mark will be green. The bar below the preview will also be green. You may adapt these parameters accordingly.

Tip:

For compensation choose fully nonlinear. With this selection the software can adjust the job to scaled and rotated prints.


Step 5: Cutting the job

After you set up the camera you can start your job.

If position and orientation of the laser job in JobControl® fits to the position of the material on the working area, JobControl reads all registration marks automatically and cuts the job.

If the positions do not fit together, you will need to manually assign the position by placing the camera at the first registration mark. If the bar below the camera preview is green, confirm with Enter. If the print is distorted, assign the second registration mark to the correct position. The remaining registration marks will then be read automatically.


Step 6: Outer part

For the outer part of the card we decided to go with double-page printed paper.
In this case we are not using registration marks because we don't need any contour cutting.

Next, send your design to the laser with the parameters below.

Tip:

For an even more sophisticated finishing for your card, you can add an engraving with a pattern or the name of the recipient.

Print settings

Process mode Resolution Cut line
Standard 500 dpi none
Halftone Others
Color enhanced geometries
inner geometries first

Step 7: Laser process outer part

Take our parameters for the outer part. The laser parameters may vary depending on the type of laser machine and available laser power.

Tip:

If you use another type of paper, test the right parameter settings on a small, not needed part.

Laser Parameters

Laser Parameters Colour Process Power (%) Speed (%)
Creasing Red Cut CO2 5 2
Cutting Desert blue Cut CO2 20 3.8
ppi/Hz Passes Air Assist Z-Offset Advanced
1000 1 on +1.5 mm -
1000 1 on - Correction 20

Step 8: Finishing

The next step is folding the card. This is the tricky part. Start with the middle fold. Then work your way up by folding the cake tiers.

Then put the inner part in the outer card. Use either adhesive dots or tape or glue.

Tip:

You want to play it safe and fold the card beforehand? For the first try, you can cut the job on normal, unprinted paper (80 g/m²) with less power for the creasing. Just change the process of the Black parameter to "Skip."


Inspirations

In a hurry? Try an engraved card. Just use the same design on white or colorful paper. Again make sure to use paper with a minimum weight of 150 g/m².



Trotec Product Recommendation

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