I recently got a price quote for a run of printed business cards on nice stock (100# or so). After some research, I realized that I could made a good quality stamp myself at TechShop RDU (www.techshop.ws) on their Epilog Helix Laser Engraver. This is my first attempt at it, so I'd appreciate any constructive advice.

   To cut out the imprint on the laser, I'm rastoring the image at 600 DPI. First, I creat the image in CorelDraw. I should also add that there is an actual "stamp program" on the computer that I wasn't aware of before, so If I learn it I'll update this Instructable as necessary.  I'm using the standard business card size: 2" tall x 3.5" wide. In order to get the laser to rastor everything butthe lettering so that it is raised, as opposed to simply engraving the lettering into the rubber, I background fill the card black and make the lettering white. Then, flip the image horizontally, so that your writing is backwards. This is to ensure that it will read the right way when you press it into your paper.

You can see the rastor and vector settings (vector just to cut out the card blank after engraving), as well as some pictures of the Epilog Helix in action. I actually did three passes in all to increase the depth of the surrounding rubber in relation to the pad and avoid accidental imprints.

Step 1:

Next, I cleaned off the pad with a brush to sweep off any remaining particles of free floating and powdered rubber. The vector cut didn't go through all the way, even with a few passes. Instead or risking burning and warping the rubber, I traced the cut with a razor to get a good, clean line all the way through.
<p>So... how do those of us who don't live within 500 miles of a Techshop do this? ;)</p>
Thanks for leting me know - I haven't seen those for sale at my local TechShops in San Jose or Menlo Park, but must admit I haven't looked for it very actively - too busy with 7 other projects right now :-) Cheers, -Christoph
Thanks for posting. What material exactly did you use for the rubber pad and where did you purchase it? Also, which Epilog laser did you use (45W/60W other?) and what were the settings that worked for you? <br>Thanks! -ChS
Sure, I actually picked the rubber up on site at TechShop. You should be able to purchase it at any local hobby and craft type stores. Just be sure to use something that doesn't contain any materials that create harmful smoke, like PVC. I believe the rastor settings were Speed-90 &amp; Power-35, with 2-3 passes to acheive optimal depth. It was the 60 watt Epilog, but I'm sure you can make lower wattage work as well by adjusting the setting. Good luck, and let me know how it works for you.

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