This is inevitably the first question everyone asks. When we first started burning paper nearly 20 years ago, some burn was expected on most jobs. The laser would smoke the front; causing browning or it would flash back off the metal grate burning the back. With the newer galvo laser we have much more control. We can alter speed and power to achieve a perfect burn. The laser is so fast that smoking is now a rare problem.
Many variables are out of our control that causes burning. Some of these are paper caliper, paper color, ink and coatings. We are not involved in the printing or coating, so it is very hard for us to understand the variables. What we do know is that thicker papers tend to burn more. It takes more power and time to laser. Many times we can eliminate the burn on the face and back. You may see some browning on the actual side of the paper in the burn area. This can be exaggerated due to the angle at which the galvo beam cuts. The maximum focal point of the galvo is 6’’. The closer the image is to the maximum size, the more severe the angle of the cut. The other factor is color. White will tend to show more burn than darker colors. Unfortunately white stock is the color of choice for most jobs.
We are always willing to burn samples to show the outcome of laser burning. Check out some great videos of our lasers in action at www.graphicdies.com