A finished laser cut and printed birthday card

Print & Cut Birthday Card

In this tutorial, we show you how to create personalised printed cards with JobControl® Vision Software and camera systems.


Preparation

Required material:

  • Individually printed paper 200 gsm for the inner card
  • Printed or coloured paper for the outer part at least 300 gsm
  • Adhesive dots, tape or glue

Machine used:

You can also create this sample using a Speedy 300, Speedy 400 or SP500 with the JobControl® Vision software.

Important:

  • For the inner part use paper with a minimum weight of 150 gsm to give the card a better stand.
  • Make sure to send bezier curves to the printer in the driver settings, otherwise JobControl® Vision can not recognise the registration marks.

Step by Step

Step 1: Inner card

Create your own design or use our template for the inner part of the card. For a more personal card, you can add the name and age of the recipient before printing.

Next, send your design to the laser with the settings below, in this case only the registration marks and cutting line. You should then deactivate the layer with the graphic design so that it is not sent to the laser.

Print settings

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

 

 


Step 2: Laser process inner card

The laser parameters may vary depending on the type of laser machine and available laser power.

Laser 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: Positioning the print and laser job

Connect JobControl® to the laser.

Move the job from the queue on the plate and place it in the print position in the machine. To do so, move the laserpointer to the middle of any registration mark and then drag the corresponding one to the crosshairs in JobControl®.

Tip:

Use the “What you see is what you get” function (WYSIWYG) in JobControl® for easier positioning.


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 the position and orientation of the laser job in JobControl® fits 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 card

For the outer part of the card we used double-page printed paper.
In this case we are not using registration marks because we aren't contour cutting.

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

Tip:

For a sophisticated finish on 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
Colour enhanced geometries
inner geometries first

 

 


Step 7: Laser processing the outer card

Use our parameters for the outer card. 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 sample piece.

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 and then work your way up by folding the cake tiers.

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

Tip:

You may want to play it safe and fold the card before processing. On the first try, you can cut the job on normal, unprinted paper (80 gsm) with less power for the creasing. Just change the process of the Black parameter to "Skip."


Inspiration

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



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