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Tips 'n Tools
Glass on the Fly
Latex Dip
D1 Parts

Sample Projects
Each of these projects was done
by burning the black layer off
to reveal the white layer below.
Just the paper! Nothing else!

You can do some amazing things
with the posterboard and card stock.

uCreate Chalkboard

Pen Gear Posterboard

Tuxedo Card Stock

What are backing materials and why do I need them?

Like everything else, it depends on what you are using it for.
Generally, a 'Backer' material is a piece of cardboard or similar
that you put down on your table to protect it from getting damaged
during some of the lasering processes.

When using the 'Glass on the Fly' method for doing glass or acrylic,
a 'Backer' material is needed for the laser to focus on because
the glass or acrylic is clear. It also prevents damaging your table.
Using the wrong 'Backer' will leave you with one big mess!!

For 'Glass on the Fly' you want a dark color backer.
Black is preferred, but not required. You can use colors, but you will
notice the details are not as clear the farther from black you go.

You DO NOT want anything with a glossy or slick surface.
Gases and smoke get trapped and will stain your material.
A slightly ribbed or textured material will work the best.

#1 My all around go to is the Pen Gear Posterboard
WalMart has it and it holds up well under most conditions and only $1.22 per sheet.
The cardstocks and posterboards are not doing as well on larger graphics.
The chalkboard materials will stain your glass or acrylic.

#2 uCreate Posterboard
Hobby Lobby and Family Dollar Stores have a thinner uCreate Posterboard
They both have it in a variety of colors and it is only $.87 per sheet.
It comes in a 22"x28" sheet with a white core perfect for other crafts as well.
It holds up well under most conditions and doesn't leave a stain

#3 The cardboard back out of the picture frames(3pak)
I have been buying at WalMart are working the best.
It is just a cheap black cardboard with a texture(viens) running threw it.
Nothing special. It just isn't real smooth is it's best feature.
You get a decent piece of glass and the backer to engrave on in one package.

Dollar General carries an ArtSkills brand posterboard and I thought I liked it.
Turns out it has a mind of it's own and will warp in a heartbeat.
Keeping your projects flat can be a big problem.

I also use a number of other backing materials for various reasons.
Crafting, Templates, Fixtures and Testing just to mention a few.
Here are just a few examples and projects you can do.

The top right photo above was done with less than $.50 in materials.

Red Bear Cut-Out was done on uCreate Red Posterboard
Colored materials do need more heat
100mm/s speed - 35% power
100mm/s speed - 30% power on Black
Cut Out 20mm/s speed - 100% power
Air Assist recommended on colors, but not required.
I don't have one and you can see the results.

You can download and try a few Valentine Projects here!

All of the backer materials have a hidden talent or two!.
They have a white core/center that you can use.
Just burn the black(or colored) layer off to expose it..
You can get very creative with this stuff easily.
Some come in various colors. The possibilities are endless.
You can make your own product tags or any number of custom items.
Best part is, you don't need anything else to create some nice pieces.

All of these samples that are on these backer pages were done
without any other aids or the need for any other materials.
Just lay a piece of backer material down and use the settings shown.
Add a cut layer and all of the materials will have perfectly clean lines.
That's it.

When looking for materials, take a look at the edge of it.
On this, you will see a white layer between 2 black layers.
I have seen papers claiming to have 4, 5 and 6 layers..
I wonder what they are and wouldn't that make some nice pieces!.
No telling what kind of bonus layers are hiding out there.

Here are some samples of each of the backer materials. I printed the same graphic with instructions on each one so you can see the difference. There is not much.

uCreate Chalkboard

Click for more info

Pen Gear Posterboard

Click for more info

Tuxedo Card Stock

Click for more info

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