Darkly Labs Community

print and cut

The Ultimate Guide to Print and Cut according to me




printing several designs on the one piece of paper using a standard home/office colour printer and then cutting them out altogether.

I print 24 playing cards on the one sheet of paper then I cut them out.


Methodology and Observations


every printer prints differently

every type of paper prints differently

the amount of ink on the paper affects the result and quality of print e.g. draft v high

printing both sides is different to printing one side of the paper

if you want accuracy then you can only print one sheet at a time, multiple copies at the same time changes the position of the image on the paper

printed paper goes through rollers on your printer and this distorts the image so you have to allow for this in your cutting

the way your printer picks up the paper will affect your final result

climate alters the way paper is printed and then cut


Printing Tips


find out the maximum area you can print on your printer on the size of paper you use

I print a border around each sheet so I know the areas and limitations involved. This is important as it helps later on

using your design/graphics package to draw your designs you can place/position your designs on your paper ready for cutting out

if you place your layout in the bottom left hand corner of your paper it helps to position paper in cutter later on. You would need to group all your designs together so there is one complete sheet with all your designs on them


Now for the Hard Part


positioning each design you want to cut out requires time and patience depending on how many you want to do on the one sheet

you need to take into account all of the above parameters because each design needs to be

located according to the final cut. We are talking here of .1,.2,.3 of a mm.

  1. Trial and error is how you do it


To the cutting


I have set up a hard edge on the laser bed. So each page goes into the same position. No thinking required.

Because I set out the boundaries of the paper I know where each design needs to be to get an accurate cut

It takes time


P.S. I have run my machine for about 500 hours and now have a 2nd machine to have fun with. So loads of experience here in paper cutting and printing. I have tuned my printer to the laser cutter so everything is repeatable. Hope this helps.

1 Like

Great info Max.

Thx for sharing it.

Hi Max,

Thanks for posting on the Darkly Labs Community!

As Domenic mentioned, there is some great tips here on how to reduce printer inaccuracies and variances.

I am curious as to why you didn’t choose to use the Print & Cut feature within LightBurn?
I imagine now that your setup is dialled in, that the setup time is greatly reduced.

For others who may come across this and not know about LightBurn’s  Print & Cut feature - this allows you to place two crosshairs on your design to be printed (in software), then import this into LightBurn and use these points to get LightBurn to do most of the alignment work for you.

You can find more details in the LightBurn documentation HERE.
Gil has also done a video on how he makes use of this feature HERE.

Max, I’d love to see some of your work if you are willing to share!


Best regards,



Customer Support Team

D A R K L Y    L A B S

d a r k l y l a b s . c o m