Finding the Best Parameters for Cardboard: Testing 7 Different Types
Processed Material Examples

Finding the Best Parameters for Cardboard: Testing 7 Different Types

We get a surprising amount of sample requests for cardboard.
If the laser power is too weak, it won’t cut. Too strong and the burns will be too noticeable.
Cardboard today, influenced by eco-friendly thinking, is used in a lot of different contexts with differing levels of thickness and hardness depending on the application. So, even though it’s all cardboard, the parameters will be completely different.

This time around, we collected 7 types of cardboard examined the best parameters for each using the FABOOL Laser series.
The reference cutting data is a 5 cm square cut into four puzzle pieces.

Cardboard A

The overall thickness of the material is 5mm. The wavy part cardboard is called the ‘flute’, and there are various patterns among this flute. The various types of cardboard are differentiated by the flute. This 5mm thick cardboard is the most common type and is known as A flute.
Shipment boxes from Amazon are made of this type. (Amazon’s small delivery boxes areB flute and will be address as here as Cardboard F.) The cardboard will be cut using the FABOOL Laser CO2 and the FABOOL Laser DS.

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 2000mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 25 sec

result-co2-cardboard-A-1 result-co2-cardboard-A-2

FABOOL Laser DS Parameter

Speed: 3000mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 20 sec

result-ds-cardboard-A-1 result-ds-cardboard-A-2

Cardboard B

The overall depth of this cardboard is slightly thicker at 8 mm.
The flute is in divided into two sections. The first is 5mm A flute, and the second is 3mmB flute. The combination of these 2 is called W flute and is mainly used for heavy goods and international shipments.
This will but cut with the FABOOL Laser CO2 and the FABOOL Laser DS.

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 900mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 30 sec

result-co2-cardboard-B-1 result-co2-cardboard-B-2

FABOOL Laser DS Parameters

Speed: 1800mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 15 sec

result-ds-cardboard-B-1 result-ds-cardboard-B-2

Cardboard C

1.1mm thick F flute has fine layers, straight framing and is good for precise flexographicprinting* and is also used for boxes that come in the mail.
For this, we used the FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W and the FABOOL Laser CO2.

(*Method using liquid ink and rubber or synthetic resin for the board)

FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W Parameters

Speed: 200mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 1 min 46 sec

result-mini-cardboard-C-1 result-mini-cardboard-C-2

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 1500mm/min
Power: 30%
Passes: 1
Time: 20 sec

result-co2-cardboard-C-1 result-co2-cardboard-C-2

Cardboard D

This type consists of two layers of 3mm thick B flute making it 6mm overall.
This will but cut with the FABOOL Laser CO2 and the FABOOL Laser DS.

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 1500mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 2
Time 40 sec

result-co2-cardboard-D-1 result-co2-cardboard-D-2

FABOOL Laser DS Parameters

Speed: 900mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 30 sec

result-ds-cardboard-D-1 result-ds-cardboard-D-2

Cardboard E

This type is called E flute and is often used for gift boxes as the waves are very thin, andthe layers are inconspicuous. It is 1.5mm thick.
This was cut using the FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W and the FABOOL Laser CO2.

FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W Parameters

Speed: 300mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 2
Time: 2 min 30 sec

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 1500mm/min
Power: 20%
Passes: 1
Time: 20 sec

Cardboard F

This is 3mm thick B flute. B flute waves are thinner than those of the most commonly used A flute. It is used for lightweight goods and small delivery boxes.
This was cut with the FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W and the FABOOL Laser CO2.

FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W Parameters

Speed: 200mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 3
Time: 5 min 40 sec

result-mini-cardboard-F-1 result-mini-cardboard-F-2

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 1500mm/min
Power: 70%
Passes: 1
Time: 20 sec

result-co2-cardboard-F-1 result-co2-cardboard-F-2

Cardboard G

This is a basic form of the original cardboard made of not 3, but 2 layers. It is flexible and, as paper, also very strong.
We used the FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W and the FABOOL Laser CO2.

FABOOL Laser Mini 3.5W Parameters

Speed 500mm/min
Power: 100%
Passes: 1
Time: 54 sec

result-mini-cardboard-G-1 result-mini-cardboard-G-2

FABOOL Laser CO2 Parameters

Speed: 1500mm/min
Power: 15%
Passes: 1
Time: 20 sec

result-co2-cardboard-G-1 result-co2-cardboard-G-2

Final Thoughts

Testing cardboard, we had the impression that because of the air between the flute layers, it would burn easily. That there would be some burning was a no-brainer, however, there was also the fact that the fire would spread and burn a hole in the cardboard.
For the FABOOL Laser CO2 and the FABOOL Laser DS, the cardboard burned much more easily if the speed was set below 1000.

cardboard burned easily

It is possible to avoid this by setting the power as low as possible and repeating the number of passes.
This time in particular, because the puzzle pieces were being cut out, we tried to keep the laser cuts as fine as possible to ensure that the spaces between the pieces did not become too wide. To make the laser cut finer, the key is to use the lowest possible power setting.

Cardboard has many different uses outside of packaging.
Next time, we’ll talk about other ways in which cardboard is used and how it will change using lasers.