At some point most tinkerers and makers have to take the plunge into the real world - the world of suits and dividends and business cards. Without going completely "American Psycho" on your asses: business cards are important. In many ways they are our keys to the business world; the first impression making a massive impact, and potentially the difference between eating a Burger King in front of your computer and getting taken to a French restaurant for a business meeting.
The question remains, how does one make a lasting impression with a simple card - and how to you prevent your card from being thrown away, used as kindling or emergency filter tips?
Try printing it in your hand, in front of the person you are trying to impress.
Buy using cheapish components ($80?) you can print thermal business cards to hand out to any potential client, investor or friend. These can be changed whenever you need and really make an impact because they are something new and engaging.
Step 1: Getting the parts
1 x Thermal Printer - http://www.adafruit.com/products/597
1 x Roll thermal paper - https://www.adafruit.com/products/599
1 x Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11113
1 x FTDI basic Breakout - 5V - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9716
1 x Strip of male header pins
1 x AAA battery holder
4 x AAA batteries
1 x Push button
Computer, USB cable, Soldering iron, Solder, Hot glue or Double sided tape
I only managed to find pictures of AA battery holder, but the AAA are better because they are smaller. So try find one of those in your area.
This project centres around a small portable thermal printer. These printers are generally used for printing receipts in ATMs or card machines. Luckily, they are very easy to set up and print directly on to easy to find thermal paper. They can print images and patterns (although we are only using text for now). You can communicate to the printer via serial using an Arduino (or similar uC). Adafruit have kindly made a really extensive library that helps to set up the printer and get your first business card printed in a jiffy.