Ever clean out a room in your house only to find a small token that is attached to a bigger, more significant memory?  Well I have!  Those trophies from a sports league or a challenge coin from a community you once belonged to are just two examples of memorabilia that elicit a powerful response.  A sense of belonging, accomplishment, or honor is usually attached to these types of trinkets and thats exactly what I wanted my fans to experience when they held LevelBF dogtags.

Attaching a physical object to a specific time period in your life makes memory lane that much more fun when you take the stroll years later.  While the bubbly recollection may be the ultimate goal, it will never happen if fans never actually receive that special gift.  Then it hit me, I needed to take a page from Apple’s playbook and make the very act of unboxing an item more special for their friends and customers.  Enter Frank, my resident Techshop guru.  Frank suggested that I begin by forming simple trays that would hold a set of tags plus the neck and toe chains.  He suggested that I try and vacuum form a tray to hold a full set of dogtags, complete with silencers and chains.

This may not be the best possible way to tackle this problem, but this was my first attempt at a saleable package and just like everything else, this is only the beginning of a journey that will lead to better things.  I have already moved on to a newer, cheaper solution but you will have to check out my next instructable to see the next iteration!

Step 1: Materials Needed

As far as materials go, this project is fairly forgiving in that you do not absolutely have the exact materials listed below.

List of Materials and goods used for this project:
=2 - laser engraved anodized aluminum dog tags
=2 - rubber silencers
=1 - 24" ball chain neck-lace
=1 - 2" ball chain toe-lace
=1 - 2'x2'x3/32" white picture matting
=1 - 2'x2' white vinyl 
=1 - 4"x18" Frisk-it paper
=1 - 24"x12"x0.030" Black PVC plastic
=1 - Double stick tape

Tools and Machines used:   
= Picture mat cutter
= Vinyl cutter
= Laser cutter
= Vacuum former
= 12" Paper cutter

To access the Tools and Machines used head on over to TechShop and get started making things today!

Cool concept
Thanks for your comment!
<p>Nice work!</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
Great concept/execution! :)
Thanks for your support! I appreciate the comment :D<br>
<p>There are now biodegradable starch based &quot;plastics&quot; -</p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic</a></p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Biodegradable-Plastic/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Biodegradable...</a></p><p>This is a good read.</p><p><a href="http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/settlements/publications/waste/degradables/biodegradable/chapter2.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/settlements/...</a></p><p>2.1 Thermoplastic Starch Products<br>Thermoplastic starch biodegradable plastics (TPS) have a starch (amylose) content greater than 70% and are based on gelatinised vegetable starch, and with the use of specific plasticising solvents, can produce thermoplastic materials with good performance properties and inherent biodegradability. Starch is typically plasticised, destructured, and/or blended with other materials to form useful mechanical properties. Importantly, such TPS compounds can be processed on excisting plastics fabrication equipment.<br>High starch content plastics are highly hydrophilic and readily disintegrate on contact with water. This can be overcome through blending, as the starch has free hydroxyl groups which readily undergo a number of reactions such as acetylation, esterification and etherification.<br>Developments<br>The CRC for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science Australia has developed its own version of TPS biodegradable plastics. These natural vegetable starch polymers have a amylose content greater than 70%.<br>Trials have been successfully performed using maize starch polymers as mulch film, and the material was found to perform as well as polyethylene film, with the added advantage that after harvest, the film can be simply ploughed into the soil. These natural starch polymers are now being commercialised through a new company called Plantic Technologies Ltd. based in Melbourne.<br>Applications<br>The applications of thermoplastic starch polymers are generally film, such as shopping bags, bread bags, bait bags, over wrap, 'flushable' sanitary product backing material, and mulch film.<br>Foam loose fill packaging and injected moulded products such as take-away containers are also potential applications. Foamed polystyrene can be substituted by starch foams that are readily biodegradable in some loose-fill packaging and foam tray applications.<br>Foamed starch loose-fills are rather easy products to produce and this area has become an early market for biodegradable plastics. During its preparation, raw starch is premixed with 25 to 50 weight percent water and fed into an extruder capable of imparting intensive shear and operating at high temperature (higher than the boiling point of water, i.e., 150-180&deg;C). Under these conditions of shear and temperature, starch breaks down, loses its crystallinity, and gets plasticised with water, resulting in a homogenous amorphous mass. When this gelatinized starch/water mixture exits the extruder, the water that is present in the mass at a temperature higher than its boiling point expands into steam due to a sudden drop in pressure, and the foam is formed. Generally a plasticiser (such as glycerol) and another polymer (such as polyvinyl alcohol) impart more reproducible properties to starch foam.</p><p><br></p>
Thanks for the heads up on this new material! I wish I had done more research before &quot;just doing it&quot;<br><br>I'll keep this in mind next time I vacuum form anything!
<p>Just like the computer screen says, &quot;Thanks 4 all your support!&quot; I never imagined I would get this many views on a project.</p><p>#GreatCommunity</p>
I'd like to get my hands on the product, can I've the link too?
<p>Of course! I think I may put them up on Amazon because my studies are getting tougher and I may not have the time to dedicate to this project. Thanks for your interest and comment!</p>
<p>Where did you make it?</p>
<p>The tags themselves came from overseas packaged in poly bags in yet a bigger poly bag. I made the Black tray on the Vacuum forming machine at Techshop San Jose. Thanks for the comment!</p>
I want a dogtag lol
<p>I will be setting up a website to help me sell them, I'll make sure to throw a link your way when I do :D Also try to keep a design in mind, so we can make truly personalized tags!</p>

About This Instructable


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