CNC’d business cards will definitely get you noticed


The guys over at North Street Labs were bored, so they figured why not go ahead and built a CNC machine just for kicks. While they haven’t put up build details on the CNC just yet, they do have some newly milled business cards to show off just how well the machine works.

Part ruler, part LED throwie, we think their new business cards look great. Milled out of thin acrylic sheeting, their cards feature the North Street Labs logo and URL along with 1/32” ruler markings along the top. The card is also fitted with space for a button cell battery and RGB LED, which illuminates the entire card nicely from the side.

They say that the cards take about 5 minutes apiece to make, which is not bad at all. At $0.50 a pop, the cards are not nearly as cheap as those made from cardstock, but when you’re looking to impress what’s a couple of quarters?

Continue reading to see a short video of their CNC-milled business cards in action.


  1. Tom Hargrave says:

    Love the cards. So, when are you guys going to post more details about your CNC machine?

  2. MauiJerry says:

    Very cool. Could be done with a laser cutter too.
    I use my Epilog to make biz cards from cereal boxes. I cant embed LEDs in them but they are attention getters.
    Half of a large (costco sized) box takes about an hour to etch and cut.

  3. M4CGYV3R says:

    It might complicate the size of the button cell, or depth of engraving, but I would probably opt for a thinner material. Carrying even 10 of those into a convention would be bulky.

    Capacitor-powered with a solar cell on the back, anyone?

  4. MauiJerry says:

    Pic of my cereal box etched biz cards is on my Flickr site

  5. andar_b says:

    When I used to work in printing, I ran across a few very pricy business cards, some running around 50 cents each. Usually law firms and corporations, though occasionally some idiot at a school district would get the idea that he was important enough to warrant gold foil and multiple spot colors.

    I once had to work on one that was three spot colors (not matchable using CMYK) plus blind embossing plus gold foil stamping, plus it was a fold-over card.

  6. mjrippe says:

    Obviously those are 1/16″ markings on the LED card. They have a non-lit card with 32nds.

  7. Andrew says:

    If they used millimetres I might take them seriously.

    • Justin says:

      I’m not sure if this is a jab at American measurement or the accuracy of the machine. We debated doing metric on the bottom portion, but at a certain point it just starts to look cluttered. I’m sure you’re aware that 1/32″ is less than a millimeter already, so it’s totally capable. :)

  8. brianenigma says:

    I see that the legs of the LED hold the battery in, but what holds the LED in? Is it just a really tight friction fit? A drop of super-glue?

    • Justin says:

      The accuracy of the machine was so good that we could make the tolerances to press fit everything. A dab of hot glue was used on the LED leg to the battery. It guaranteed a good connection on the back end, but the battery itself popped in place snug without anything needed.

      • Justin says:

        Just to clarify, the battery slot is not open on both ends. The back was not cut through; we just precision cut the depth of the battery into the material on the front. We made the diameter 1 mm smaller to allow it to press fit (if I remember correctly).

  9. Tony says:

    $0.50 a pop?

    Someone somewhere needs a lesson on how to work out costs. That $0.50 had better include materials, capital depreciation, labour costs, rent, taxes, etc etc.

    Of course if you’re doing it for the fun of it, then carry on.

  10. steve says:

    Just obe word: ninetie’s gay chiq. Oh wait, that’s three. My bad.

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