Introduction: Laser Etched / Laser Cut Business Cards

This is an easy method to create your own Laser Etched / Laser Cut Business Cards (like the one seen in the picture.) The method uses a raster engrave for the text on the card and then a vector cut to remove the individual card from the larger piece of cardboard.

Step 1:

The most important thing to note in making your cards is the choice of cardboard.

This method will only work if the color of the interior layers of cardboard is different than the color of the exterior layers of cardboard. For my card I chose cardboard that had a bright pink (fuschia) exterior color and a light brown interior color. By looking at the edge of the cardboard you can see that there are layers of light brown (interior) sandwiched by layers of pink (exterior).

Step 2:

Create your laser cutting file in Illustrator (or whatever software your laser cutter uses.) You should experiment with the font choice for your business card design. I tested a couple of different fonts before I decided on a final font version. Once you decide on a font ensure that you create outlines of the font image (in case the computer you send the file from to the laser cutter doesn’t have the font you used.) Remember, raster engrave the text and vector cut the card out.

Step 3:

Cut a test card using the settings for your specific laser cutter. Make sure to look at the back and see how singed the back is. If it has laser cut marks you may want to either lightly tape the back of the cardboard or put an underlying material to protect the backs of the cards. Ultimately you may require a couple of tests to get the right settings on the raster engraving and the vector cut. Once you have those setting right though, you can crank a full sheet of custom laser etched / laser cut business cards in no time! I was able to get 56 cards out of one sheet of cardboard! Happy laser-ing!!!

Comments

author
kde leon3 made it! (author)2013-07-06

these are so cute! I am going to try this with the epilog laser, hope it cuts as clean as these, what laser did you use? and what settings? power/speed? thanks! :) K

author
Andres_RvRs made it! (author)2013-01-29

im having a problem when cutting paper, it leaves a black dust, di you had the same probles?

author
bestjosh made it! (author)2011-01-20

Do you have a source for the cardboard? I am failing at finding it.

author
velogirl made it! (author)velogirl2011-03-11

Hi bestjosh, I went to my local art supply store, Dick Blick's on State Street in Chicago. I imagine any art supply or hobby store would have them. Look for any cardboard that would have a different color filler. Thin museum board (black with white filler) might do as well.

author
bestjosh made it! (author)bestjosh2011-03-14

Thank you.

author
velogirl made it! (author)2010-10-07

I am not certain what more you would like me to speak of.
I'd be happy to add more to it if you have a suggestion! :)

The logic behind the short post is the following.
Depending on the laser cutter you use, you would setup the template accordingly in the appropriate software. Some places use autocad, some use illustrator, hence why i didn't post any of the files. Also, I didn't post the settings for the vector cut or the raster engraving because it really depends on the material you choose to engrave to and the Watts on the laser cutter model being used. Too many variables to account. It was more showcasing the technique of raster engraving to achieve the contrast with the material. I'd received lots of complements on the cards and thought I would post it for others to see.

author
CrLz made it! (author)CrLz2010-10-16

Looks like a good Instructable to me!

Rather than "short", I'd suggest elegant.

Nice business cards.

author
agis68 made it! (author)2010-08-31

is this a complete instructable????...

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Bio: Margarita Benitez is an art + technology and fiber artist based in Kent, OH + Miami, FL. She is interested in the explorations of art within the ... More »
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