Introduction: Laser Engraved Tags for Room Number Plate

This year I started working as a high school shop/craft/tech teacher (we call the class Pro-LAB Shop for acronym reasons). When I arrived, the room plate by my door was empty, which was kind of a bummer. Rather than wait for the school to order plastic tags with my name and subject printed on them, I decided to make some custom laser etched wooden tags on my own.

Being a shop teacher, these wooden tags are especially appropriate for my room, but I think they would look nice in other situations (besides schools, what sorts of institutions have room number plates? I guess mostly offices). Also, theres lots of potential to cut/engrave these in other materials for different looks.

If you'd like to see what we've been up to in the Pro-LAB Shop class, here is a link to our Instructables page: More student created content to come.

We don't have a laser cutter at my school (yet), so... I made it at TechShop.

Step 1: Borrow a Blank Tag to Reference for Size

Pictured is the room number plate from a neighboring classroom. I took one of the tags from this room plate to take measurements.

Pretty boring compared to my fancy wooden tags, right?

Step 2: Find a Sufficiently Thin Piece of Wood

I found this thin piece of wood in the scrap bin at TechShop. It looked to be about the same thickness as the standard plastic tag I borrowed from school, and there was more than enough surface to cut out a couple tags.

Step 3: Design, Laser Cut, and Etch Class and Name Tags

I used CorelDRAW to make my design for these tags. I don't have a screen shot of the file I used for these tags, but it was pretty simple. It consisted of...

1) a .001 thick red line rectangle (to cut) of the desired size for my tag
2) the text I wanted to etch in black

With my design finished, I used TechShop's Trotec Speedy 300 Laser to cut and engrave my tags.

Step 4: Check Tags in Plate, Sand Down Thickness

Back at school, I tested my custom wooden tags and found that one of them was too thick. A few seconds on the belt sander and the problem was fixed.

Step 5: Display Your Custom Tags in Your Room Plate

Visitors to your door will be impressed and interested to know how you made your tags. This is especially cool if your visitors are students and you're a shop teacher on a mission to introduce students to the world of digital design and fabrication.

Thanks for reading!

I made it at Techshop.