Laser cutting

Laser cutting is used where conventional die-cutting is reaching its limits. It’s possible to cut the finest, most delicate scratches, thin ramifications or else. It’s also called “Filigree-Laser” or “Laser burning”

Technical background

There are basically two different methods. Digital laser cutting wields the laser beam along a contour, like a plotter. Analogue laser cutting uses a copper template which is positioned on the paper(rarely used). The paper and copper template are wielded through a permanent laser. On each spot where the laser can get through the copper template it incinerates the paper beneath.  

During the process temperatures of around 1600°C occur. This is needed to incinerate the motives very precisely.


With laser cutting it is possible to work with very delicate contours like small fonts or thin lines. Motives made with this method appeal very special and noble.

Application possibilities

Application possibilities are similar to those in die-cutting, simply the motives can be much more delicate. There is almost nothing impossible. Nowadays this method is mainly used for exclusive greeting cards, writing paper, certificates, business cards, mailings, etc.


There will be tiny traces of combustion at the back of the paper which can be covered up by using coloured paper or coloured prints. The best would be to use coloured unbleached paper and with an azotic filling of the laser cabin you can avoid combustion traces. Same as with die-cutting the stability of the material is influenced by laser cutting. So you have to avoid protruding corners or edges, because they can easily tear off. If you punch fonts pay attention to stabilize the inner spaces of each individual letter through margins. Also avoid placing laser motives close to folds. The smallest presentable line lays between 0,3mm (papers with 80…290g/m²) and 0,5mm (papers with 300…800g/m²) depending on material thickness.


Compared with the punch no tool costs result what makes individual improving of products economic. The costs of the digital procedure depend substantially on the size of the motive (total length of the dividing lines), also from the material thickness.

With high editions there originate long production times, the advantage in price gets lost.

Sources and additional literature

[1] Hille, Frauke Helene: Veredlungsmöglichkeiten und

Spezialeffekte für Bücher und Broschuren; Diplomarbeit, Hochschule für Technik,

Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (FH), Fachbereich Medien, Studiengang

Verlagsherstellung, 2008

[2] Webseite Filigranlaser, Druckerei Kurt Schroeder