I have finally got myself a printer that will handle thick card. The Epson XP-760 has a special slot at the back that has a straight though path so the material printed doesn’t need to bend. I’m not sure the maximum thickness it will handle but it works fine with the 580gsm board I had in stock. This allows me to try a few experiements mixing printing and laser cutting. I designed a simple slot-together rocket in Illustrator. The file was split into two layers. A colour scheme to print onto the card and a cut line for the laser cutter. I made the print slighly oversize to allow for errors in alignment then after a few experiments settled on a work flow that seems to work well.

I added a small target to the print which I was able to use to initially line up the laser.

With everything lined up nicely the parts looked good.

The two parts slot together to make this 3D rocket. Currently the card is printed on one side only. Front to back registration is definitely going to be a problem on the Epson but I could get some cards printed at the local printer as I know they can accurately align the printed faces

That leads to the possibility of a new product for the Flying Pig website. A greating card that opens out to reveal a sheet or two of pre-cut preprinted parts that slot together to make a scene. Here are a couple of non-printed first drafts. I’ll be popping down to the printer on Monday for quotes…