We use our Emblaser 1 for cutting Airbrush Stencils - which can be done for any painting project or art work. Here are a few tips.
For general work - we use Stencil Board (Oil Board found at Industrial Suppliers or Art Stores) which has a coating to resist soaking - we can use the board for many days before we need to change it out - disadvantages are that it is stiff and small details often “pop” up and cause out of focus images when curved around a surface like a person’s arm. Advantages are that it is stiff to allow for easy weading of the unused material and that it lasts for days - Settings 4 mm/sec 80% 2 Passes in my area.
For detail work - we use construction paper and coat both sides AFTER you cut the stencil with a heavy hair spray - soak the paper and allow it to dry. DON’T spray in the same room as the laser - hairspray is flammable. - this will give you a tear resistant wear resistant stencil with exceptional detail. Disadvantages include difficulty in laying the stencil flat because it is flexible and single day use. Advantages include finer detail and limited “pop up” when placed on a curved surface - settings 20mm/sec 80% 1 Pass
Stencils require “bridges” to maintain the structure of the stencil and support areas which would otherwise be cut out. Add rectangles with a width of 0.04 inches minimum, lay those on top of the areas that need support - use the scissor function to remove all of the unwanted line segments and create the bridge. Use 3 bridges to support your area if possible for structural integrity.
Test cutting - it is faster and easier to cut a test stencil from construction paper first. Test it out and correct for errors. Areas should be at least 0.04" away from each other (otherwise they will fall out) - so expand your design and move those areas away from each other. Bend and twist the stencil as if you were going to use it and add bridges if needed. When happy, move on to heavier material.
Stencil size - don’t be afraid to make your stencil larger than you anticipated - a larger stencil allows for more detail and expanding the image as little as 1" can make the difference between a good design and a great design. Another tip, make your vector image as small as possible - once you know what the minimum size is for the stencil, it is an easy task to expand to make larger stencils and gives you the knowledge about your design’s capabilities - for example my Maori Turtle cannot be any smaller than 2.5" because the interior design cuts fall out, so I know what my limitations are for this stencil image.