Cutting machines support a wide range of materials. For most paper art projects, there's tons of flavors of card stock. Chipboard is a great material for backing. Newer models can cut ~2-3mm thick chipboard, cardboard, craft foam, basswood and balsa wood. Most of the materials that are supported by the cutting machines manufacturer feature pre-made material profiles so it takes the guess work out of setting up cut jobs.
Talking about all the different types of paper got me thinking about the way paper manufacturers talk about paper thickness. It's actually not common to see paper labeled by the actual thickness, instead it's categorized by "weight". Most paper will be label their weight in LBS (pounds, imperial) and GSM (grams per square meter, metric).
This is a type of particle board made from reclaimed paper that is generally used as backing for notepads, photos and prints. It's also used to create cereal boxes and other type of packaging. This material comes in a variety of different thicknesses. We found 0.8mm thick chipboard works really well for project boxes.
- Material: Chipboard 0.8mm
- Cut Pressure: 350
- Multi Cut: 3x
- Blade Type: Fine-Point Blade
This is a type of paper that is thicker than office or notebook paper but thinner than chipboard. This also comes in many different thicknesses, often referred as weight. Cardstock comes in lots of colors so we can choose from a huge selection. I got myself a hefty pack of cardstock on clearance so check out your local arts and crafts store!
Adhesive Cutting Mats
Material needs to be secured to a special mat in order to make precise cuts. These cutting mats have a tacky surface with a grid of lines and numbers for visual reference. These sticky mats are used to secure your material and helps keep everything together while cutting out your artwork. They come in different levels of stickiness depending on your material. You'll want to choose the right size mat that fits your make and model of cutting machine.
Chipboard is a thicker material that may require blue painters tape around the edges to keep the material from coming loose. Cardstock is much less involved and doesn’t require extra tape. Just be sure use a squeegee to secure the material to the mat.
Custom Material Profiles
When experimenting with new and different materials you might want to consider modify or create your own material profiles. Each new material can be assigned a profile that will tell your cutter how much pressure to apply when preforming cuts, how many passes you'd like it to make and which blade to use.
In Cricut Design Space, you can manage all of the default profiles and create your own in the custom materials page. This can be accessed through the main menu (hamburger icon) in the top left corner of the site.
Main menu > Manage Custom Material > Add New Material