Introduction: Laser-etched and Cut Rubber Stamps - Made at TechShop

Made at TechShop SF - http://www.techshop.ws - TechShop is a shop space where one pays a monthly membership fee, like a gym. After taking Safety & Basic Use Classes, one can check out equipment which ranges from Laser Cutters to 3D Printers to CNC mills and more! It is a great resource for professional designers, students, and entrepreneurs alike.

Rubber stamps are great for packaging, mailings, personalization and more! Laser engraving machines make creating them simple. Follow these steps and you'll have rubber stamps in no time.

Materials and Equipment:
- Laserable Natural Rubber
- Graphics Editing Software
- Art or Other Stamp Content
- Epilog Laser Engraver
- Stamp Block(s)
- Rubber Cement
- Books or Other Objects to Use as Weights

Visit our shop at http://biomorphics.com. We specialize in lasercut/3D printed/CNC jewelry, apparel, art, home goods, and more.

Step 1: Purchase the Correct Material

It is very important that you use natural, non-vulcanized rubber for the laser cutter as a non-natural rubber will produce toxic gases in the laser cutting machine. These laserable rubber sheets are marked with the text "SPECIAL RUBBER FOR LASER ENGRAVING." I sourced my material from http://www.laserbits.com though you can find other sources as well.

Step 2: Set Up Your Drawing

Using Adobe Illustrator, I selected the black and white art I wanted to engrave, then chose Edit >  Colors > Invert Colors to create an inverse image. I then right-clicked, chose "Transform > Reflect" and used a 90 degree vertical axis reflection. This is an important step - It will enure your image comes out printed the correct way in ink. Set all lines to be cut at 0.001pt lineweight and all lines to be engraved at 0.5pt lineweight or greater.

Step 3: Engrave

Using the Epilog Laser Engraver, I chose "Combined" print job, and used the following settings: 
Raster: 40% speed, 90% power, top-down engraving
Vector: 20% speed, 90% power, 2500 hz
Watch your job carefully to make sure no fires occur. You may have to run your vector job twice.

Step 4: Glue to Stamp Blocks

The final step is gluing your laser-cut and etched stamps to the stamp blocks. I keep my eyes out at thrift and discount stores for old stamps, and remove the rubber using all-natural orange cleaner and a scraper. I then wash the blocks and glue the rubber stamps to them using rubber cement when dry. Weight the blocks, facing downward with the stamp pressed into a silicon baking mat or cloth, using books or other heavy, stable objects for a half hour or longer while the rubber cement cures!

Comments

author
KTxW (author)2013-08-11

Love that you made a stamp of your QR code - that's an awesome idea!

author
biomorphics (author)KTxW2013-08-12

Thanks! We thought so too!

author
MarkP60 made it! (author)2017-01-30

first test and success - what a great teacher in-service this project will be!
Thanks for the comprehensive instructable, we think we will put an 1/8 inch backing foam between the wood block and rubber. m

stamps.jpg
author
mcatterlin (author)2015-06-01

I bought some "Easy-to-Cut Lino" for laser etching and didn't think of the possibility of it being toxic. Do you possibly know if burning linoleum would be toxic?

author
TimothyS (author)2015-02-04

if you click on the advanced tab for your printing preferences, you can select "stamp" . this will allow you to adjust the beveled wall around your engraving which supports thin lines and letters. it will also invert the colors and reverse engrave it so you dont need to spend the time working those issues in Illustrator.

author
kde leon3 made it! (author)2014-05-16

fun! thank you!! :)

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author
Mindmapper1 (author)2013-08-12

This is really good but some info on the power setting used would be great. I made some rubber stamps using silcone sheet and they worked really well with fine detail.

author
majamia (author)Mindmapper12013-12-31

can you tell me which kind of silicone rubber do you use? i engraving stamp rubber sheet on my 40w laser but it still too thick of engraved area....and I would like to try silicone sheet....thank you.

author
biomorphics (author)Mindmapper12013-08-12

https://www.instructables.com/id/Laser-etched-and-Cut-Rubber-Stamps-Made-at-TechS/step3/Engrave/ these power settings are the ones I got from Epilog for Natural Rubber.

author
Mindmapper1 (author)2013-08-12

thank you but I can't read the details too much screen reflection unfortunately

author
biomorphics (author)Mindmapper12013-08-12

it's in the text below the photo if you read it!

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Bio: N. California lasercut/3dprinted/CNC jewelry, apparel, art, home goods inspired by nature and sacred geometry. Custom design solutions and fabrication services.
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