Mirror Postcard

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About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

Want to help your vain friend stay in touch? Send a mirror postcard to him. The next time he decides to gaze upon his own heart-stopping beauty to make sure no slight imperfection has slipped in he will both remember where he lives for a safe journey home as well as your own address in case he should ever decide to forsake the transient electronic messages for a more solid form of communication.

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Step 1: Etch and Cut

Etch the mirrored acrylic and cut it with a laser cutter. Once again, I'm using the Epilog at Squid Labs to get this stuff done. Here you can see the laser cutter doing the vector cutting of the postcard shape.

It should go without saying, but the etching always happens first. Otherwise, the surface will drop down a bit and even get sightly turned to one side. For designs that go to the edge it's a good idea to have a slight bleed to the design as well.

Step 2: Mail It Off

Slap a 68-cent stamp on it and it's ready to go all the way across the bay. I mailed this one from Emeryville so it went all of 15 miles in one day to get to its destination. Apparently in good shape, too. I'll have a picture up the next time I see David. That is, if he can tear himself away from gazing upon his own stoic features.

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    14 Discussions

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    jennikloo78

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is really cool.. I etch but with my Dremel tool for those who would like to try it like that. You can do a lot of details with a diamond tip bit on a Dremel. Mailing would be simple... BUBBLE WRAP. Just thought I would say something positive about this cool idea. Keep it up.

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    Yerboogieman

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I see, if you hold it a certain way, you can't see the text. Tricky.

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    lactoso

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I would have thought the post office wouldn't have accepted it (citing the potential for breakage and subsequent injury to postal employees). Interesting projects but I must agree, you're just showing off your laser etcher. This has zero instructables content. Instead you're subverting instructables as the medium for your 'art'.

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    zachninme

    12 years ago

    For some reason, I think you are trying to come up with things that don't make it through... What's next? Your split-etched one cut in 4 pieces, and hung together with wire?

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    fungus amunguszachninme

    Reply 12 years ago

    That one was mean. The variations on that one will be a lot easier to read. You'll see what I mean.

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    zachninmefungus amungus

    Reply 12 years ago

    What I said was mean, or the postcard? I was just trying to come up with the most outrageous postcard.

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    fungus amunguszachninme

    Reply 12 years ago

    No no, the split-etching was mean to the guy who had to deliver it. I'm lucky he had a sense of humor about it. I want the cards to be deliverable without frustrating the people dealing with it too much.

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    zachninmefungus amungus

    Reply 12 years ago

    "...too much" hehe. That one was the most complicated and elaborate. However, if that was run through a computer, it could be read (if it could detect the contrast) A sliding one would probably be hard for a computer to read, however.

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    Captain Pedantic

    12 years ago

    OK, not to sound whiney or anything, but are you just trying to make everyone who doesn't have access to a laser etcher jealous? It's beautifully done, but I thought the point of instructables was to show others how they can do it too.

    You left out step 1: Purchase or Obtain Access to a $15000 Laser Etcher.

    Also, is there really much instructional content here? Would you post an instructable on how to print a postcard with an inkjet printer and mail it?

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    fungus amungusCaptain Pedantic

    Reply 12 years ago

    I already did a postcard using an inkjet. It's right here.

    Seriously, I totally hear you on the laser etcher part. I even complained on an instructable ages ago about the same thing before I had access to it. But the thing is, this can be done with less than $50 worth of tools as well. It's just that the laser etcher makes it a lot faster and cleaner. The same is true for ALL of the projects I've put up here with a laser cutter.

    I usually try and put some alternate instructions for the low-tech method. On this one I didn't and I apologize. I'll update it later.

    What I'm trying to do is to try out different mediums to send through the mail. Is the medium the message? Maybe. I'm just curious what different shapes and appearances and reuses can be interesting to look at and the fact that it gets accepted and processed by a separate system I have no control over makes it more fascinating.

    So how to do it? Score the edges with a knife, then break it apart with some pliers (bonus points for putting slats on to spread out the pressure). Now dremel the edges to clean it up and round the corners. Then just grab a sharpie and mark up the addresses. There ya go.

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    LasVegas

    13 years ago

    This is wonderful! If your friend's blond, he/she will wonder how you got the candid photograph!

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    Crash2108

    13 years ago

    I bet they love you at the post office. They probably have to hand sort all the mail from you.

    1 reply
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    fungus amungusCrash2108

    Reply 13 years ago

    I just dropped off four pieces to be mailed today. The guy laughed and said that he didn't think they'd make it through, but he put the in the bin.