Folding cardboard:


Cutting of folding cardboard is possible however you need to consider a light discoloration of the edges. In the application this is generally accepted, as lasers will be used for intricate short run designs.

Creasing of folding cardboard is also achievable, by “scoring”/burning away the top layer of material. Mechanical creasing is always preferred as scoring cardboard weakens the crease significantly.

Marking/engraving is easy to achieve.


Corrugated cardboard:

 

Cutting of corrugated cardboard is possible similar to folding cardboard, however discoloration can be more visible since the smoke can run through the fluting. Thin corrugated board (E-flute e.g.) would be more useful than thicker multi-walled cardboards. Creasing again is more preferred mechanically instead of using a laser. Again a part of the material would be needed to be lasered away to achieve a crease, this is less preferred as carbon and discoloration will always be present.

Another way of creasing is by lasering a perforation line, again weakening the crease.

Marking or engraving of corrugated cardboard is a more common application.


Die-making:

Lasers are more commonly used to create a die. This is due to the fact with CNC machines you are limited to the thickness of the router bit, while on a laser the spot point is a lot smaller (0.1 to 0.25 mm)


Conclusion:


Laser on folding cardboards are mainly used for short run intricate designs, especially for greeting cards. It’s a lot less or not used for corrugated cardboard. Mainly because of the discoloration of the material after lasering.

Within the packaging industry, lasers are mainly used for die-making.