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tomward - Extreme Business Cards! - Universal Laser Cutter Finalist! Answered

To see who won the VersaLaser, read the announcementhere.

tomward was a finalist in the 2008 Instructables and Universal Laser Cutter Contest for:
Extreme Business Cards!

Should this project win the grand prize VersaLaser laser cutter package from Universal Laser worth over $15,000? Help us judge the contest by rating this forum post! Audience votes will count for 20% of the total. Check out all the finalists, and vote for your favorites!

This is a forum post created by the Instructables staff on behalf of the finalist.

So why should you vote for this?

Just about all the comments have been about the dialler version of the card - I guess this is certainly the flashiest of the two example designs presented here, but as I mentioned at the start of the instrcutable, it is more of an exercise in trying to get people to rethink their business cards and make them applicable to what they do professionally, and perhaps incorporate something hi-tech if appropriate. It is also a presentation of some neat techniques like professional graphic overlays on a shoestring and encapsulating electronic gadgets using inexpensive PVC cards that haven't been done before (or at least presented before). So has it made you think about how you could redo your business card (or make one up), or made you think how you might use some of these techniques in another project? If so, vote for this one! I am already working professionally on several designs for other high-tech business cards for other companies as a result of people seeing this instructable, so it has certainly made some people think.

I'm sure all of the finalists have 101 uses for the laser cutter - I am no exception, and won't bore you with all of them. I spend over 50% of my time working with elementary school kids - teaching science, running activities, and camps - check out www.technologycamp.co.uk and you will see some of the things I am doing just this summer with them and want the cutter for! (particularly cutting out parts of robots, rockets, etc.) If it goes to me, it isn't going to be sitting on the shelf unused!


Good luck Tom - a great, creative idea with business legs. Keep thinking outside the box! Tom A

I think it's a fantastic idea - so creative and relevant -

Creative thinking: some time ago I was presented a business card from a salesman, it was a very fine mesh glass cloth with a resin coating that was flexible. and of course it had printing on it. The company manufactured glass products including fiberglass insulation of many types. Being unique, it got my attention! I don't know if I am allowed to disclose the company name here but that isn't the important part. you definitely got my attention with your creativity. :-) Good Luck

This Instructable is simple enough to make most of us think that we could produce something similar, if not exactly the same. It gives enough information about how to do so that one without some of these skills might attempt to make a business card. Thus, it inspires and stimulates the creativity of others.

I believe that this Instructable is useful, appealingly whimsical, technically challenging and yet not TOO difficult and is also a good example of instruction. Some of the other finalists have left me with no good idea of how to actually accomplish the end product for myself. Yes, the steps are there and are explained, but there is too much prior knowledge involved for me to recreate it.

I, for one, am especially fond of the "torch" or mini-flashlight one. It would be dead against many folks' principles to discard something so useful. In fact, hasn't there been a television commercial hooting about a credit-card sized magnifier and its ability to light up menus and programs in theaters, etc?

While there are many valuable entries, yours seems deserving especially (IMHO) because...think of the cool business cards you could devise with that laser cutter!!! If and when it happens, will you post any additional designs, please?

Many thanks for the vote of confidence - I certainly would relish the idea of being able to use a laser cutter to do other designs up and post them on here as well - might even then be able to offer some precut blanks/modules for the designs to others who wanted to try a design themselves but without all of the hard work. Glad you like the flashlight idea - this is one that I think probably has more broad appeal than the 'dialer' version, but predictably most of the comments were about the latter because it was the really 'off-the-wall' one. You will see from my comments in reply to ewilhelm that one company has asked me to explore this one further - the neat thing with this sort of card is that I could make up some blank modules for the DIY crowd who could customise it themselves.

If possible, I'd love to hear more about the work you've received as a result of your Instructable. Making those connections is my favorite part of Instructables!

I will ask the companies if they are happy for me to do so (their ideas, not mine) - as long as they are, will post the ideas .... Stay tuned.

OK - have permission now from some of them - one is from an IT company who wants an ultrathin (possibly flexible) card where the details (name/logo etc) glows when the user touches an area of the card. For this one I am trying to help them come up with a design which could be produced in bulk (5k) for a couple of dollars each. (This would be a good one for an instructable when finished!). Another company is very keen on the torch idea, but wants to combine the torch idea with the 'dialler' packaging - so details of name/company printed conventionally on a mini plastic business card that can be attached to a keyring and also used as a torch. Then we can make one design that is useful for multiple employees with only a change of printing on the outer surface. I really like both of these two ideas, as I think they would both approach the holy grail of the business card that would look visually appealing and wouldn't be thrown away. There's also another idea sent to me for a non-business card idea - a mass market ultrathin useful electronic device - can't give anything else about this one away as he is still considering the patent route, but this is potentially another instructable, if that issue can be dealt with, as the idea is very simple.

I'd love to know specific details, but if they don't want their stuff made public, just a high-level overview would still be great. Mostly, I'd like to be able to tell people that posting your project on Instructables can make surprisingly useful connections.

The idea of a business card that dials the number for you is excellent. That makes it worth keeping even after you've got the number in your computer or phone.

You've got my vote! I just love it. To bad I didn't think of this:)