Introduction: Debossing (embossing / Letterpress)
A short instructable on how to do own debossing die and how to deboss into paper and other materials.
Done at Edinburgh Hacklab - time needed - about 4 hours (including trial and error).
Equipment, software, ect. needed:
- CNC Milling Machine + software + milling tools
- Piece of material for the die (plexiglass/hardwood/aluminium...)
- Press or vice
- piece of paper, journal or paper notebook for embossing
- Dremel (optional)
Step 1: Creating a Die Template
The die will be cut using CNC milling machine
I have downloaded the bitmap logo of Edinburgh Hacklab, imported into SolidWorks and made a new part where the logo was cut into a piece of solid body - exactly as it would look like on a final product. Now, to make the die, the template has to be mirrored.
This is easy with SolidWorks - use Cavity function from Mold functions. This will create a perfectly mirrored part which you can use to generate G code for milling machine.
To generate the G code I have used Cut3D - it is very simple and absolutely appropriate for this type of work. And is cheap!
Generate the G code and save into file - to be loaded into CNC control software.
Step 2: Mill the Die Out
Load the G code into your CNC milling software and set up the milling machine. You can use almost any material which can stand a bit of pressure - like hardwood, plexiglass or metals. I have used 5mm plexiglass and my model was 40x40mm in size.
The CNC milling machine at Edinburgh Hacklab is controlled by EMC2 (LinuxCNC) runnig on Ubuntu (RT).
Step 3: Finish the Die for Embossing
Finish the die so it does not contain any borders and can be easily pushed against the paper in the press.
I have used Dremel to remove the rest of the material.
Step 4: Embossing
Use vice or press to press the die against the material you want to emboss. Mind the position of the die - transparent die is great because you can check whether the final design will be properly embossed onto the final material.
You will have to experiment here. Use different materials to emboss, however make sure the material is always laid onto a soft(er) base so the die can actually push the material into the soft foundation to make a nice emboss.
Step 5: Final Product
Enjoy your products.