Introduction: PCB Business Key Fob
Let your clients know you mean business when it comes to computers. Give them a business "card" that stand out from the rest. Inspired by the PCB bracelet, this novelty business card is unique and fitting if your services are computer-related. I operate a computer repair service that caters to the elderly, with my friend. We base our advertising on personal referrals, so the specialized business card facilitates that superbly.
I demonstrate how to cut and finish useless, old RAM sticks, but any type of PCB will work. The beauty of the RAM stick is that about a half is good for the business information and they come with a hole cleanly drilled already. This things are great for a key chain and clients are receptive to novelty of the card.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
This is a fairly simple task, but it does require a certain amount of concentration and minding of your own safety. If you take the right precautions, this is a fairly safe project.
To continue on safety, there are two dangers you should prepare for as you cut the RAM, or whatever PCB you decide on using. First of all, make sure to use a mask and work in a well ventilated area. The dust from the PCB is not good for your lungs and it does not smell very good. Be especially aware of the PCB dust when you are grinding the rough edges.
The second danger in this project is from your tools. If you are experienced with a hack saw and a rotary tool, you should be just fine, but regardless, these things can harm you, so be careful. When cutting and grinding the PCB's, always wear respiratory and eye protection.
- Old computer chips (I recommend RAM, for size and dimensions)
- Labels or sticker printer paper
- Hack saw
- Rotary tool
- Needle nose pliers
- Face mask
- Safety goggles (not pictured)
- Table vice (not pictured)
- Music (doesn't matte how it gets to your ears; it makes every project more fun)
Step 2: Cutting
The essential process here is to secure the RAM and cut it right down the middle. Use a table vice to secure the chip, use the hack saw to cut.
Going into the mechanics; the key to making a good cut is to first secure the RAM as close to center notch as possible and second, taking long and even strokes with the hack saw.
You can wrap your PCB in a paper towel if you are afraid that the chip will get scratched by the vice. Use the center notch of the RAM to start your cut. If you are using a different kind of PCB, just measure out your desired dimensions and try to cut straight.
Cutting the RAM does not take too much force, so be gentle and easy with the saw. And let me remind you again, the dust from the PCB is harmful, so wear a mask.
Step 3: Grinding
After you cut the RAM or any other PCB with the hack saw, you will want to smooth off the edges. To do this, start up the rotary tool with the grinding attachment of your choice.
To get a nice finish, glide the tool head over the rough edges of the RAM. I rounded off the bottom edges, but it is not necessary to do this. Slide your fingers across the newly ground edge and continue until it is satisfactory smooth to the touch. The edge probably will not look very uniform, but it isn't very large, and does not detract too much from the final product.
Let me remind you, PCB dust is nasty, so wear a mask. When grinding, you will produce the most dust, so make sure you are not breathing it in. Also, whenever using a rotary tool, use eye protection. You may encounter a loose resistor or something of the type while you are grinding the RAM, which could potentially become a projectile flying at your eye.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Finish off your unique business "card" with your business information. I used a sticker computer sheet to label the RAM stick halves. The way you label your PCB is a matter of personal taste. I recommend making it as simple as possible, as the PCB itself will add enough flair.
Once done with the business card PCB's, carry some around with you and distribute as necessary.