Introduction: Laser Engrave Spotify Codes!
Create a Spotify playlist and engrave the scannable Spotify code on acrylic!
In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a Spotify playlist, generate the Spotify code, and engrave it on a piece of acrylic to display or attach to a keychain. Spotify codes are similar to QR codes and can be scanned using the Spotify app to bring up a particular playlist, song, album, or artist. They can be a fun way to physically share music in an exceedingly digital world, especially when you make it come to life.
- 12" x 12" 3mm acrylic sheet
- Laser cutter
Step 1: What to Link?
You can generate a Spotify code for an artist, album, song, or your own playlist! It is up to you what you would like to link, but I found it most fun to design your own playlist and share the code with friends so they can check out your playlist. Create a Spotify playlist using either the web player, desktop app, or mobile app. Add whatever songs you want and come up with a fun name for your playlist! Keep in mind that you don't have to finish your playlist before you generate the code. The playlist is updated in real-time like a Google Doc and any modifications you make after the fact will be available to the person opening your playlist with a Spotify code.
Step 2: Finding the Spotify URI
Note: The Spotify codes website now allows you to past the URL link to generate the code. It will determine the type of element and retrieve the URI from the URL on its own. I am leaving these instructions here in case this functionality is removed, or it does not work. You can skip to the next step and try the URL.
Once you have identified what you want to generate a Spotify code for, you will need to find the Spotify URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). It is the unique code given to every element on Spotify. In order to do this, navigate to the artist, album, song, or playlist within Spotify. Click the three dots and go down to the share menu. Go to "Copy Spotify URI". If you only see "Copy link...", try holding down the ALT key and see if "Copy Spotify URI" appears. Once you have copied the Spotify URI, you can go on to the next step.
If you were unable to find the Spotify URI, you can extract it from the URL or link. Select "Copy link...". Paste it in a text editor. The Spotify URI is the portion of the URL that follows "https://open.spotify.com/playlist/" but before the question mark. It is shown below in bold.
Spotify Code: spotify:playlist:3LjxeaVFw5mXreQ2WiqAa6
To generate the Spotify Code, prepend "spotify:playlist:" to the random sequence of characters you extracted from the URL as shown in the example above.
Step 3: Generating the Spotify Code Image
To generate the Spotify Code, you will need to go to the following web page: https://www.spotifycodes.com/#create. Once there, paste the URI (or URL) into the field on the left and click "Get Spotify Code". This will generate the image on the right. In order to engrave the image properly, you will need to select the settings below. Your screen should look like the image shown above.
Background Color: #FFFFFF
Bar Color: Black
Step 4: Laying Out Your Design
Now you will need to lay out the design for laser engraving/cutting. This will vary based on the acrylic you use, the design program you use, and the laser cutter you use. I used a 12" x 12" sheet of green acrylic with a thickness of 3mm. Since this is a fairly common size acrylic sheet, I provided an example template. The template is an Adobe Illustrator design file, which I used for laying out the design.
The aspect ratio of the Spotify codes are 4:1. The template I laid out will cut a 4"x1" rectangle for each of the Spotify codes. I created a grid in the template to more easily layout the various Spotify code images that you would like to engrave. The grid is composed of a series of lines with a stroke width of 0.001". For our laser cutter, this is the specified stroke width for a cut path. All other stroke widths and raster graphics will be interpreted as an element to engrave.
To use the template, you can easily drag the .svg files into Adobe Illustrator. Move the images to each of the 4"x1" rectangles. To resize the images and maintain the aspect ratio, hold down the Shift key while grabbing the corner and resizing the image.
If you would like to alter the template to create keychains instead, you can add small circular cut paths (0.001" stroke width) to each rectangle. Once you are satisfied with the layout, you can move onto the next step.
Step 5: Preparing to Engrave
This step will be very dependent upon your laser cutter/engraver. I have access to an Epilog Helix 40 watt laser cutter/engraver, so I show the settings for that machine below. This may help provide some guidance on what settings you should use for your machine. The manufacturer should also provide some guidance for certain types of materials in the user manual. For the 3mm acrylic, I used the settings shown below and above in the image.
Vector - Cutting
- Speed - 12%
- Power - 100%
- Frequency - 5000 Hz
Raster - Engraving
- Speed - 100%
- Power - 75%
- DPI - 600
Step 6: Engraving Your Design
Now it's time for the lasers! Load the acrylic into the machine, turn on the condenser and filter, and fire it up! You may need to do a quick test cut to allow the laser time to warm up before beginning on your actual cut.