Lasercutting growing paper

Hi! I recently came across a product called 'growing paper', this is paper that has seeds for flowers or vegetables embedded within the paper. You can plant this paper in the ground and things start to grow from it. On the website they say you can print on it with an inkjet printer, but I wanted to look for a more sustainable way of working with the paper that doesn't involve putting ink in the ground. That is why I experimented with laser cutting and engraving the paper. After a lot of trial and error I found the perfect settings for cutting and engraving the paper which I would like to share with you.

There where two main challenges I faced: one was speed, engraving takes a long time so I wanted to find the ideal settings to speed it up. The second challenge was the power for engraving, because it is paper the engraving used to burn right through the paper instead of lightly engrave it.

The solution was lowering the resolution to 600dpi in both Inkscape and the Trotec software. I made a new preset called Growing Paper under paper on the ZB45 Lasercutting laptop, but in case it gets reset, I'll share photos of the settings below:

The settings in Inkscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Notice I set the 600dpi resolution in the Inkscape print window above)

These are the settings I used in the Trotec software:

  

With these settings I found that you can engrave the paper without burning through it, to see if the seeds inside the paper survive the heat of the engraving I planted the paper in a little greenhouse. At the time that I'm writing this nothing has grown yet, but as soon as there are results I will update this blogpost, fingers crossed!