"In Drones We Trust" is participatory art project inviting volunteers from across the United States, and around the world, to rubber stamp a tiny image of an MQ1 Predator Drone onto the surface of their money. You can learn more about the project here and see hundreds of examples of drone stamped currency, stamped by project participants, now put back into circulation. I've created over 400 laser etched drone stamps which have now been shared with volunteers from throughout the United States (and internationally). The project is ongoing, if you want a stamp of your own, you can either make one (or a hundred!) from the information here, including the image file used, or, for the cost of postage I will send you one for free! Just go here!

This instructable will take you through the process of making the stamp, distribution, publicity and creating the website/tumblr archive. This project was made while an Artist in Residence at Instructables.com in San Francisco at the Pier 9 Workshop/Autodesk Inc.

Here are a couple of articles written about this project:





Step 1: Your Supplies...

1) First, you need a laser cutter - I am using an Epilog Legend EXT36 120Watt Laser Cutter. You can use others of course but be sure you look up the settings for your particular model for etching the rubber

2) A rubber sheet made for laser cutting rubber stamps. I used RPO 035 - No-Odor Laser Rubber from Laserbits.com A single sheet allowed for over over 150 rubber stamps as mine are rather small - of course depends on the scale of your stamp how much material you will need.

3) Wood for the stamp handles. I made all of mine from scrap 3/4" thick pine boards of various size from scrap at the Pier 9 Workshop. You will need a table saw, mitre saw and a vertical bandsaw (if you don't have access to these I'd recommend buying 3/4" molding at you local hardware store and a handsaw).

4) Tacky Glue for attaching the laser etched rubber stamp material to your handles.

5) Rubber Stamp pad(s). I tried many, the best I have found, particularly for stamping on currency, seems to be Ranger brand pads. These are pretty darned amazing - archival, permanent and a wide range of colors. I used the "Library Green" as it matches well with American currency.

6) If you make a bunch of these and you want to send them to your friends, get some smallest size padded envelopes.

Step 2: Create a High Contrast Graphic...

This image began as a 3D model, we posed the drone in the 3D software, took a screen capture, which we then exported to Photoshop. You can of course use just about any image to make a rubber stamp but you will want to convert such to straight up black and white. There are many tutorials online about how to turn a photo into a rubber stamp, such as this one. Pretty straight forward image processing. Be sure to remember, whatever image you are printing (or text) will print in reverse!

What is most important to keep in mind is that you want a reverse image, the area to be etched (removed) by the laser cutter should be BLACK. The actual image you want to have stamped as your image should be WHITE.

Above is the actual image used to create my rubber stamp. I share this here so you can make your own and participate in the larger project.

Resize this image in Photoshop to 3/4" X 1/4" at 300 DPI.

Open the photoshop image in Illustrator. What you will then do is to create a vector rectangle where the stamp will be cut - basically align with the edges of the graphic. I then duplicated the graphic and created a larger grid of stamp images to cut. Really depends how many of these you want to make. Make as many as you like and share widely! Once you have your layout, you are ready to etch! Well almost...

Step 3: Laser Etch Your Rubber Stamps...

Be sure you are familiar with the operation of your laser cutter - if you are not using an Epilog 120W be sure and check what settings to use that are specific to your system. Also, regardless, the settings below should be tested on a single stamp before doing a mass of them to be sure the settings work well with your machine. I am working in a rare space at Pier 9 that has 3 of these Epilogues, each one seems to work a bit differently than the other, so adjusting these settings may be crucial to making a successful stamp!

1) Settings - these are what I used:

Use "Combined" print job, for vector (cuts) and raster (engraving) using the following settings:

Raster: 30% speed, 90% power, top-down engraving

Vector: 20% speed, 90% power, 2500 hz

2) Again, test your settings before you stamp a large number - the material is not cheap - you want to be sure you have your settings correct so as to not waste material! Be very careful of fires!

Step 4: Make Your Rubber Stamp Handels

1) First I measured my wood planks to 3/4" marks with 1/8" spaces between each measurement to compensate for the saw depth of cut. I ripped the pieces very carefully on the table saw.

2) I squared up four pieces at a time, kind of like putting the board back together, and taped it with blue tape wrapped around both ends to hold it all together. This allows me to cut all four at the same time safely on the mitre saw.

3) I measured 2" marks and drew a line with my square on the face of the taped together pieces. These were then carefully cut in groups of four, moving each of the four cut pieces to a growing row of handle pieces.

4) Next we go to the vertical belt sander to sand each piece down to an angle at one end, roughly just larger than the size of your stamps. Takes a bit to get the hang of this - be careful as you don't want to sand off your fingers!

5) When these are done, stack them up and on to the next step!

Step 5: The Assembly Phase - Put Them Together!

1) I put a small dab of Tacky Glue on the left side of the area where the rubber stamp material meets the wood. I then pushed each piece of rubber stamp across this glue, positioned and pushed gently into place. You want these to go on straight!

2) Set them aside to dry, Tacky Glue dries pretty fast, I'd say 1/2 and hour to an hour tops to where you can use your stamps!

3) Finally, I use my green stamp pad to stamp a drone image on the handle of each stamp.

4) Your stamps are done and ready to be used or shard with others!

Step 6: Share Your Stamps and Get to Stamping Money!

•My work area at the residency at Instructables.com became a bit of a temporary mailroom! I've mailed approximately 250 of these to folks all over the United States, with individual stamps sent to Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Pakistan!

•You can certainly just give these away to your friends if you like!

•To give away the first 100 stamps, I announced the project on Facebook, see the picture above - this got the ball rolling!

•I as well wrote and emailed a brief press release to around 50 media sources online. The stories you see on the first page of this instructable are the result.

•I created a tumblr blog/website http://indroneswetrust.tumblr.com/as a permanent archive for this project. So far there are many hundreds of images of stamped currency from around the globe.

•Finally, start stamping! It is not a "participatory project" unless you participate! Stamp away! Have a drone stamping party! Seriously, I've taken my drone stamp with me to various gatherings, dinner parties, classes - just about everyone carries some cash, have them stamp it or stamp it for them, take a picture and send it to me! dronetrust@gmail.com

Oh, and to the question, "Is It Legal?" to stamp money - read this from the wonderful "stampstampede" project:


<p>I will willingly destroy any currency I find with this garbage.</p>
<p>The conversation here has been fascinating - actually quite what this project is all about - creating an opportunity for critical thought and dialogue. From dialogue could come action. It might interest any of you, I've made a new stamp called &quot;Hands Up Don't Shoot!&quot;. Get one here if you are interested. http://handsupsdontshoot.tumblr.com/</p>
<p>Why do you continue to make &quot;Hands Up Don't Shoot!&quot; stamps when it has been proven that Mike &quot;Gentle Giant&quot; Brown never put his hands up in surrender? If someone tried to pay me with your B.S. &quot;Hands Up Don't Shoot!&quot; stamped currency I would refuse to accept it. </p>
<p>Now THAT'S how you do it! keep up the good work and try not to get droned to death!</p>
<p>May I propose a supplementary stamp?</p>
Of course, always open to ideas.<br><br>joseph
<p>Fantastic. I'm glad that you are receptive to different points of view. I'd really very much like to have an appropriately sized Muhammad with bomb in turban stamp just as it was published in the Danis Newspaper Jyllands-Posten and republished by Charlie Hebdo. I'd be willing to mark up currency with your drone stamp in conjunction with the Muhammad stamp in honor of the atrocity committed by radical(?) Islamists in France. If you truly believe in freedom of expression then why not? I'd make my own but I don't have access to a laser cutter and I don't think that there is a Maker Space anywhere near me that has one. Can you help me out? Je suis Charlie!</p>
<p>Hi there,</p><p>While I condemn the senseless killings in Paris, and support 100% the rights of anyone to express themselves, I do not agree with the much of the content put forward by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. I think many of the cartoons are simply insulting, offensive and not particularly clever or interesting beyond the effort to shock and offend. Just too easy. </p><p>There is a larger context of bloodletting by both sides in this &quot;war on terror&quot; that truly needs to be addressed in order for there to ever be peace. From our perspective in the west, these killings in Paris, and elsewhere, are senseless acts of terror. From those who have been on the receiving end of our &quot;war on terror&quot; I suspect their is no less consideration of what we do as being &quot;acts of terror&quot;. From drone strikes in Pakistan to our senseless invasion of Iraq, and the ongoing chaos in the region we still see today. There is a cycle of killing, revenge attacks, radicalization and hatred that I fear will only escalate in the coming years. <br>My drone stamps are intended as a political critique of our drone policies - which, the CIA has determined in their OWN reports, to be counterproductive, leading to further enmity among local populations and quite possibly the best recruiting tool the terrorists could ever hope for. </p><p>Sorry, but I am just not interested in your idea as it runs counter to my goals as an artist. </p><p>Anyway, if you are truly interested in making this rubber stamp there are any number of commercial services online that will make you however many of rubber stamps you may desire. </p><p>Respectfully, Joseph</p>
<p>I LOVE this one !</p><p>LinuxPusher</p>
this will dry under Velcro protection for aboug 24-48 hours. Since my re x ray shoed I broke my forearm, 2 weeks ago. I am a bit limited.<br>The arm looked so swollen and bruided that Surgeon put cast on for pain control. Funny, the swelling got worse, they took cast off yesterday, re xrayed it, and today report shows fracture. only 5 more weeks to go
hey Fyi<br>I must have been over working your stamp. the ribber part fell off, after 50$.<br>I re glued it with 6000 glue
hey Fyi<br>I must have been over working your stamp. the ribber part fell off, after 50$.<br>I re glued it with 6000 glue
<p>I am now a rebel</p>
Thanks! I just posted this to the site. If you want to let me know what city and state I will include that info on the post. <br><br>joseph<br>http://indroneswetrust.tumblr.com/post/105913192519/in-drones-we-trust-location-unknown-12-21-14
<p>If you're interested in this, check out www.StampStampede.org--a non-profit started by Ben Cohen of Ben &amp; Jerry's. +26,000 of us are trying to #GetMoneyOut of politics &amp; spread that message through stamping money as well. We want to reduce the crazy cost of U.S. elections, lobbyists influencing our politicians, and corporations flooding money into Washington to get their way--join us! It's a petition on steroids that you can do anywhere and anytime. </p>
<p>Defacing US currency is indeed, a Federal crime: <br></p><p>18 <br> U.S.C. &sect; 333 : US Code - Section 333: Mutilation of national bank <br>obligations -</p><p><strong>Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or <br> unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank <br> bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national <br> banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal <br> Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, <br> or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, <em>shall be fined <br> under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.</em></strong></p>
<p>So, are you having trouble understanding what &quot;<strong>with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, </strong><strong>or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, &quot; </strong>means? If you are, it means making the money appear to have a value that is not backed by the US Government. Things like turning a $10 bill appear to be a $1000 bill, eliminating the ink from the surface of the bill to re-print the a different value onto the bill in a counterfeiting scheme and so on. It does not apply to rubberstamping &quot;WhereGeorge.com&quot;, StampStampede's notes, or the Predator stamp onto the currency as doing so does not change the value of the currency as far as the system is concerned. It doesn't prevent you from dropping a penny and sufficient change to operate the mechanism into a machine that rolls a MallOfAmerica token out of the penny, or other systems like that.</p><p>But if you sincerely believe that this law does prohibit these activities, then your action in not reporting these activities to the Secret Service or the local police when you see them happening makes you complicit and an accessory after the act to the crime you are complaining about, and subject to the same penalties. Feel better?</p>
<p>That is ridiculous. When you deface a bill people will feel entitled to reject it (or unfit to be reiussed as you aptly quote).</p><p>I suppose you don;t care if somebody that doesn't notice the stamp finds herself in a situation in which a debt can't be paid for this reason.</p><p>Being over dramatic this could be somebody trying to pay for food or rent.</p><p>&quot;Art&quot; that causes actual trouble to 3rd parties indiscriminately doesn't seem legitimate to me.</p><p>Since this is actually illegal in many localities I will actually ask Instructables to remove this,</p>
<p>You are free to accept or reject any form of payment you choose. The law in this regard is specifically aimed at addressing the various counterfeiting methods that make use of existing currency to create new varieties of currency, which as a result specifically makes the currency invalid and ineligible to be re-issued by the federal reserve banks.</p><p>Considering the fact that people are arrested or charged with counterfeiting for presenting $2 bills, which are legal currency in the USA, and are such a low value that counterfeiting them would cost more than the advantage of being able to pass them, I'd say that your decision to accept or reject a bill stamped with either a concern that the bill in question is involved in some sort of tracking system, may be being used to pay for political corruption, or as a reminder that you are using currency that at some level helps fund spying both domestically and abroad, is purely your own business.</p><p>Of course if you are going to get upset about this, I do hope you will turn yourself in for defacing currency when your ball point pen blows up in your pocket with your money, and gets ink all over it, or your going to turn in your prospective girlfriend for writing your phone number on a $10 so that she remembers it when she gets home and can put it in her address book. Wouldn't want to encourage anyone to deface the money they are using after all.</p>
<p>Now, at least one INTELLIGENT answer.</p>
<p>Yes!, Yes! I was going to post about the Stamp Stampede and you beat me to it. Every bill I spend is stamped. Been doing it for many months. Get the money out of politics!</p>
<p>it is wrong to deface money to make a political message. how would YOU like it if your political rivals stamped all of YOUR money with a slogan against your beliefs? you would throw a fit at the bank and insist they pick through the money to find you clean notes. what is crazy is you most likely fail to realize that BOTH parties have the same exact problem and BOTH parties are made up of millionaires and billionaires. for every koch brothers there is a george sorros.</p>
<p>So you believe that buying political influence with money should be legal? </p>
<p>Yes!, Yes! I was going to post about the Stamp Stampede and you beat me to it. Every bill I spend is stamped. Been doing it for many months. Get the money out of politics!</p>
<p>I actually came accross one of the bills pictured here out in the wild, had a good laugh about it.</p>
I believe in your hands up don't shoot project please get in contact with me I want to participate
<p>Hi there, go here and you can get one: http://handsupsdontshoot.tumblr.com/participate</p>
<p>Really dude? If the government wants to knock someone off, it's no difference if they use a drone or a person flying an airplane. Same result. I mean really, someone's still flying the thing and pulling the trigger.</p>
<p>I bet you agree with speed/red light cameras, automated ticket issuing vehicles, and using a helicopter to issue speeding tickets on the freeway.</p>
<p>Nice straw man argument... actually speed limits in the vast majority of cases are absurd and cause more accidents than they supposedly prevent.</p><p>Those cases are nowhere close to my point. A person piloting a drone is looking at the same information that a pilot of an F-18 would be looking at. Actually, the drone pilot is probably seeing much more information because of the advanced sensors. None of them are able to see the details down on the ground, they're acting on intelligence gathered by others.</p>
<p>I'm not talking about drones. I'm talking about a helicopter hovering high above the highway issuing tickets because they take a video of the cars speeding on the highway. How is that cost effective? It isn't. It just lets them buy more equipment for next year that, surprise! Taxpayers pay for.</p><p>But my argument was that those automated systems are flawed, and they are going to start using them in drones too. And then who is to blame when someone is killed when a computer said this guy was carrying explosives, when turns out he just had a fever?</p>
<p>Actually...I really like that comment. The last part was funny. And a good point.</p>
<p>Informed stakeholders beat the inaccurate traffic light cameras in the Los Angeles area. Who will analyze and report on flaws in the killer drone system?</p>
<p>Exactly. Who will find those flaws, since nobody is allowed to take them to court--because they are dead. Dead people are notorious for not showing up for court, even when it is in their best interest!</p>
<p>why not? it's AGAINST THE LAW to break the law! i bet you are against cops killing thugs who are trying to take their gun away from them and shoot them with it.</p>
<p>Most laws are there for sensible reasons if they're meant to protect the rights of others but there are historical exceptions, Slavery, Dred Scott and Jim Crow come to mind. I'm sure you would break the law if there were a repeal of the second amendment as would I. I do not trust everyone in, &quot;authority&quot; positions to know what's best for me. (Nanny State) That's a very liberal way of looking at things, which is odd considering your view points. You should check out Howard Zinn's Disobedience and Democracy. He makes a far better argument for civil disobedience than I.</p>
<p>I am against anything that has a higher error factor than a success factor.</p><p>Red light cameras remove patrol cars from the areas they are installed, and increase the crime in the area as a result, while raking in billions of dollars that go directly into the pockets of the officers and do nothing to improve the capabilities of the police force. Not to mention that they have to pass tons of secret laws in most areas just to get them legally able to stand up in court.</p><p>Automated vehicle enforcement has been shown time and time again to erroneously flag cars and get them towed and impounded which most cases fail to get the costs of that recouped from the citizen who did nothing wrong, not to mention that these cars are also used to replace a real police officer in a real cruiser doing real patrols. Therefore, as stated before, reducing the overall safety of the area that they patrol.</p><p>And the helicopter uses far, FAR more taxpayer dollars than it ever hopes to recoup in tickets--and it also lets them request even more expensive equipment next year because they 'used' it 15 times last year, which guess who gets to pay for?</p><p>The ends don't always justify the means. If I spend a million dollars to issue more tickets that might only bring in 10 thousand dollars a month... Why if it were anything but a Government, it would be a horrible investment.</p>
<p>That is NOT even the point. The actual point is that every single one of these drone strikes are completely illegal. The drones cannot and do not actually have the real means to identify who they are actually attacking. It's impossible. Satellite technology and high quality camera optics being what they are...they still cannot PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt who they are murdering. And like &quot;The Pete&quot; mentioned as well...drone strikes kill dozens of innocent by-standers in almost every single illegal drone strike. As far as your comment regarding that it doesn't make a difference if a person flying a plane does the killing...that too is incorrect insofar as even military aircraft pilots...specifically attack aircraft such as jets and attack helicopters have also proven to be thoroughly inefficient and a really good example would be when Wikileaks along with several other main-stream news agencies posted that horrible and illegal attack on those Iraqi citizens in Baghdad which included two Iraqi journalists, news reporters who were working for Rueters News Agency...it was a slaughter and that disgusting American helicopter pilot was seething and drooling at the mouth as he begged to let his weapons loose on all those innocent people. So however you look at it...our government and its military are a hegemonic, imperialist, capitalist, colonial, oligarchic polyarchy bent on dictating to the world that WE are the one and only Super Power on the planet and you had better watch out because we will stomp on and squash any opposition who stands in the way of U.S. CORPORATE &quot;strategic?&quot; INTERESTS.</p>
<p>Amen. Preach it.</p>
<p>Yeah but drones miss a LOT. I don't know what the stats are with human piloted strikes, but drone strikes kill 28 people for every one traget they actually mean to hit. This includes any nearby people, like say, women and children. These kinds of strikes are like mini-Deathstar killings. Brutal, sudden and indiscrimant. Probably a good thing to be against. Like war.</p>
<p>I believe there is a difference - In the book 'On Killing' by Grossman, he makes the argument that the more distance between the killer and the victim makes the act easier. Distance can be geographical or psychological. Looking through the screen of a drone scores high on both.</p>
<p>I read your comment in my head in the voice of Mike from Vsauce :P</p>
<p>Hmmm... I wear glasses, have a receding hairline and a mustache - and I take your comment as a total complement, thanks. ( <br>͡&deg; ͜ʖ ͡&deg;)</p>
<p>There's diminishing returns on that distance theory. In the face vs 50 feet away is huge. 50 feet vs 1000 yard sniper shot, gets bigger. 1000 yard sniper shot vs a 5 mile artillery shell, getting pretty far away and disconnected. A 5 mile artillery shell vs a pilot 30,000 feet in the air 25 miles out, you're pretty disconnected from &quot;up close and personal&quot;. An F-18 pilot vs a drone pilot in Kansas, not much difference in terms of being &quot;disconnected&quot;.</p>
<p>Similar situation involved the bomber crews during WWII versus the soldiers on the ground. The bomber crews felt disconnected from the battle while those on the ground were experiencing it up close and personal. </p>
<p>Good on you, Delappe!</p><p>Here's another art project with this theme:</p><p><a href="http://notabugsplat.com/" rel="nofollow">http://notabugsplat.com/</a></p><p>Astonishing that so many commentators are concerned about the &quot;legality&quot; of ornamenting US bills, but seem not a bit worried about the legality of murdering brown people in faraway lands with the push of a button!</p>
If we all step back a second and read the Declaration of Independence and the constitution you will realize all men and women are born with unalienable rights. Rights that cannot be taken away. Right of freedom and life and liberty . Nowhere does it mention rights to attack anyone drones or otherwise. We are to defend our rights defend our freedom that's our freedom not others freedom. I have a hard time seeing our freedom being infringed upon in countries like Syria and Iraq. As far as here on our soil we are held with the responsibility the duty we are obligated to allow a govt of our choice to weild authority over us for a civil and free life enjoyed by all. If that body of govt is not doing what they are being given authority to do or of they over reach their given powers, we as citizens are obligated to remove said govt and install a new and majority voted one in its place. Obviously these days I can not see much out current govt does not over reach their powers ever. In addition the federal govt has true jurisdiction only a few miles from the capital in dc. Beyond that each state has complete power to rule itself the way it's members see fit. You don't like how they do things in Oregon fir example then you have the choice to move elsewhere . If individual states were free to run their govts without federal intervention things might be more approved in each state creating a congruent country. Bottom line is the system we are in did not work and until we admit that and allow a new party in to have a shot at it we will only continue downward until things implode. The libertarian party is for hands off govt reduced size reduced waste reduced intervention and freedom for all like it was originally designed. Federal govt has become out of control along with military police and they need to be robed and replaced with those who remember they have a job to do which is to protect and serve not play god or play boss or parent they are to do as the people collectively decide they should do. Obviously rounding up the protestors in la was not something anyone approved of and they should all be removed and begin with a new force there along with the majority of big city police forces. Unless we continue to insist they do as we say not the other way around it will only get worse .
<p>Ingenious! I LOVE it! I donated $60.00 (that was all I could afford) to Robert Greenwald's foundation Brave New Films to help bring Pakistani victims of the U.S.'s thoroughly ILLEGAL drone strikes, over the to the United States to speak in front of Congressional members. Sadly, there were NO members of Congress who showed up to this testimonial. I was so outraged. My government sickens me. Out congressional members are the laziest, most worthless group of ne'er-do-wells in U.S. history.</p><p>Your idea is amazing! Absolutely ingenious! I am going to make some stamps as well. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!</p><p>I sometimes draw these very small political cartoons of a cartoon strip I created back in the early 1980's right on U.S. currency. When I don't have time to draw the actual cartoon directly on the currency, then I tape the money to a piece of printer paper and send it though the printer. Always, my cartoons talk about the corruption of our government, militarism, the Military Industrial Complex, the Prison Industrial Complex, corporate greed, as well as other issues that need to be talked about that most Americans seem to prefer not to address.</p><p>This is a very exciting project! I look forward to working on it.</p>
<p>Is flying a drone over a sovereign nation to drop bombs on civilians legal? Perspective anyone? </p>
<p>we bomb terrorists, not innocent civilians. the cowardly terrorists hide among innocents, that is true but the &quot;innocents&quot; also shelter them. maybe you need your mother to be slowly beheaded by one of them for you to see the truth of what these insane murderers really are and who are the good guys?</p>

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More by delappe:3D Printed Drone Strike Data Installation Laser Etch Rubber Stamps for a Drone Stamp Revolution! Silver Leaf a 3D Print 
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