Intro: Make Your Own Laser-engraved Stamps
This guide helps walk you through the process of creating some super unique laser engraved stamps. This project can be designed and laser engraved at the Black & Veatch MakerSpace located within the Johnson County Library, 9875 W 87th St, Overland Park, KS 66212.
Step 1: Stuff You Need
- Laserable rubber sheet (sourced from www.johnsonplastics.com/laserbits)
- Wood for mounting
- Contact adhesive or glue
Tools: (available free at MakerSpace)
- Laser engraver
- Image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw
Step 2: Design Your Stamp
Design your image in black & white to get a clear idea of how your stamp will ultimately look. If you are scanning in a drawing for your stamp make sure to scan it at a high resolution, around 600 DPI.
Bold, simple shapes and text are best. Thin lines and too much detail can muddy the design.
Step 3: Prepare for Lasering
Once you have the design to your liking you’ll need to make it ready for stampification! You will import your art into Corel Draw. Once you have your image placed you’ll need to draw a “hairline” box around the art.
Now you will go into the print preferences and go to the Advanced tab. This is where we will tell the machine we are making a stamp. Select “Stamp” under “Raster Type”. In the Stamp Setting box stick with the default 25 for the Shoulder and 1 for the Widening.
The next two options are for “Mirror” and “Fence”. Mirror is straight forward, if you have text or other art that needs to be legible when stamped you will check the mirror box. You will also select “Fence”. The Fence tells the machine that everything inside the box we drew will create a negative. For 400 DPI images use 10% Speed, 100% Power. For 600 DPI images use 20% Speed, 100% Power.
Do not try to cut the stamp with the laser, it takes forever and does not cut cleanly. A sharp blade and straight edge is the way to go.
Step 4: Laser It!
You've set up the art and changed the laser preferences, now you'll prepare for laserin'.
- Position your rubber in the laser cutter.
- Focus the machine, hit the 'Focus' button and make sure the focus plunger barely touches rubber.
- Turn on the ventilation fan! (Even though it's laserable rubber, burnt rubber still smells)
- When the laser is done take a look.
- Usually a few passes are needed to get enough depth.
- Wash your rubber with some soap and water.
Step 5: Stamps, Stamps Everywhere
You now have a stamp! Almost. To make an official stamp you need to mount it. Adhere your rubber to a small piece of wood with a bit of glue or double sided tape. If you want to get fancy you can 3D printer or CNC to create a stamp handle.