What material for "blueprint"

Does anyone have suggestions for a material that would work well to laser on a “blueprint” - blue surface and white background? Ideally, the material would be two layers and adjust the laser speed and power to cut through the top layer and expose the bottom layer of a different color, like blue on top of white, to laser out a blueprint with minimal post-work, such as doing the cut on blue and then gluing that to a white sheet underneath?

Anything thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Trotec, for one, sells these dual color materials. Have a look at their assortment. Tap plastics might as well.

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Thank you very much! I was able to quickly find a suitable material at Trotec. Tap plastics might have something as well, but it’s a little harder to find specific things on their site, but that looks like a great resource for other things, also.

I’m just getting started with laser cutting and engraving and getting up to speed on materials and sources for them is part of the learning curve. So thanks again for the tips!

The Trotec stuff is pretty pricey, but it’s clear that it does what you require.

For the economical option, one could use ordinary blue acrylic sheet, cover it well with securely attached masking, then engrave the desired white portions. A quick splash of white paint, perhaps even spray paint fills the engraving.

With the masking removed, you have a result similar to Trotec.

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Another great place to look is Johnson Plastics Plus


Masking, engraving, then paint would work, too, that’s a good idea. I’ll have to think about that. Some of the things I have in mind are pretty intricate, so removing the masking after might get very tedious. But maybe leave off the masking, engrave, then use white paint and squeegee it across the engraving to fill the cut might be a little more work than Trotec, but less work than removing 100’s of small pieces of tape. Not sure.

I’m still waiting on Trotec to activate my account so I can see prices. If it’s too expensive, they may be priced out of my willingness to go that route, but we’ll see.


Thanks for the Johnson Plastics Plus link, looks like they have a product very similar to the Trotec product I was looking at also. Excellent!

EDIT: while I wait for Trotec to activate my account, I ordered a sheet of ROWMARK LASERMAX PATRIOT BLUE/WHITE 1/16" ENGRAVING PLASTIC from Johnson Plastics Plus. That looks like just the ticket. Kind of expensive, but should be enough to do several decent-sized prints once I get my settings rights.


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Happy to help. You will have to show off some of your handwork,

I will. I have some concerns, still, though, for getting a good result. My main concern is the laser beam is very narrow, so depending on how thick the laminate is, I’m concerned that after I get the settings such that the speed and power will cut through the blue, but not the white underneath, that the cut will be so narrow that you might not be able to see the white blueprint lines underneath unless you’re looking directly at it and from an angle they might not show.

So I’ll have some experimenting to do. Perhaps bringing the laser out of focus a little but to get the beam wider, and then the power and speed settings, and the right focal distance, to do that. It may take some experimentation.

Alternatively, I’ve also thought about this … take a sheet of aluminum, paint it blue, then laser off the paint. That might look ok, too, with the “drawing” being silver under the blue.

Anyway … this should occupy a good bit of my time as I experiment. :slight_smile:

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I usually just paint a white ceramic tile blue and then etch away the paint to leave the white when I make patent tiles.


Hi Brian, for a wider line without rastering, I just defocus a little. How much will depend on your lens but with my 2" lens changing from the correct height of 4.5mm to 10mm gives me a nice wide line.

Hope that helps


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How durable does the material have to be? I’ve found that 110lb cardstock is mostly dyed just on the surface and the interior color is still mostly white with a hint of the dyed color in it.

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Thanks for the idea rojhan! Durability doesn’t matter too much, this is mainly for a decorative item.

I actually got decent results getting a plain white tile from Lowe’s, painting it blue, then lasering off the paint. The tricky part for me and my 80W laser is finding power and speed settings that don’t chew up too much of the tile surface (none, preferred). I think I found a setting that works pretty good - attempt to include pic, if it works.

Next step is to apply some clear coat. However, that has been problematic because the clear coat I bought to try apparently has acetone or alcohol in it, which then dissolves the paint and ruins the image, so for my next feat, I’m attempting to try and find clear coat that won’t act like paint thinner and ruin the image underneath.

But on the card stock, I can barely get these to NOT etch out pretty deeply into the tile, so not sure if my skills in fine tuning the settings are up to the challenge of taking off the top layer of card stock. :slight_smile: I may give that a try, though - thanks for the suggestion.

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I meant to jot down my settings, but got sidetracked. I think I was 300ms/s and 15% on a 100W laser. 110lb cardstock is somewhere around 1/16th" thick. $13-16 for 100 sheets.

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Wow, that looks great! Gives me hope I can get mine set up. Do you happen to have a link to the card stock you use so I know what to get? I need to study up on materials - I didn’t realize card stock was that thick. That sounds good!

I did the tile+paint at 200mm at 10%. I tried a slower setting and a faster setting and played with the power, too, and the two above came out the best at 200mm x 10%.

Your Enterprise looks great!

I think this this is what I got. “Any” 100/110lb weight cardstock should work.

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