Laser Engraved Business Cards with LEDs

Plexiglass-LED-Lit-Business-Card-1

Regular paper business cards are boring. They are flimsy and easily forgettable for the most part, and when stacked together or thrown in a pile, it’s hard to locate a specific one; like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Plastic cards aren’t much better either because they still fall into that ‘who cares’ category. But plexiglas business cards with laser cut etchings beautifully lit up by an LED?! Yes please.

The design was developed by Romanian engraving company called Gravez Dotro who fixed the problem of simply glancing at a business card, putting it in a wallet, and causally forgetting about it later, never to contact the person that gave it out. If someone hands away one of these though, the receiver is definitely going to remember it. The solution isn’t that high-tech and just about anyone with access to a laser cutter can make their own. It will be interesting to see what people come up with. If you feel like creating one, be sure to send us pictures. We would love to see them. Video of the design comes up after the break.

Also check out the Ask Hackaday article about paper USB business cards by [Mathieu Stephan]

33 thoughts on “Laser Engraved Business Cards with LEDs

  1. The whole point of business cards is that you write a URL or a reminder or something on the back when you hand it out. I had a job where the “art” department made us all spiffy stylish business cards with a black back. I took them to my boss and pointed out how useless they were. He had them all destroyed and replaced with “normal” business cards with plain white on the back.

    1. You could just glue paper to the back as part of the manufacturing process, this card is defiantly an eye catcher.

        1. Because then the text doesn’t light up any more? I’m pretty sure there is a solution that is both (semi) transparent and a writeable surface.

          1. The only solution I can think of is a separate layer that’s not attached anywhere but at that metal corner, or maybe only lightly at the outer edges. Any broad texture or object fixed to the surface will absorb or dissipate light.

    1. Buy one, lasers are surprising cheap these days.

      (Not those lame 2W DVD diode things, one of those ~$600 ones off eBay. They’re blue. For the price they’re awesome.)

      1. Well, I’d start by emailing the company on the card.

        These will be expensive, $5 would be a minimum especially for a small quantity like 100.

        To make them yourself (where labour is ‘free’) would cost about 50 cents each in materials. About 15 cents for the acrylic, 20 for the battery, and few cents for the LED etc.

        So $500-$1000 to get them made, vs ~$700 for DIY plus you’re left with a laser cutter afterwards.

  2. Every time I hear about new forms of business cards, I think back to the scene in American Psycho with all the business card envy.

    1. Pale Nimbus lol. Yeah I think folks that have fancy cards are probably covering up for a lack of character content.

  3. Battery and LED shouldn’t be the problem. What kind of switch is inside the card?

    And how much does one Card cost? I wouldn’t give away a $5 card just for someone who may have a job, somehow, somewhere, some time.

    1. I’m envisioning that the corner area there is hollowed out to hold the likely coin-cell battery and a small SMT LED edge lighting the thing. The switch? The metal plates on either side of the card are soldered (or maybe not!) to the LED, and when squeezed, contact the battery (which is slightly thinner than the acrylic).

      This should be really simple to make using 3mm or 1/8″ acrylic – a 4 x 8 foot sheet runs about $100.00 USD for clear acrylic; the LED, switch, metal bits, and battery are fairly negligible.

      I would guess that after labor and parts, you are probably looking at $2 to $5 USD per card, depending on your labor outlay which will likely be the most expensive part; if the whole process were automated (including the laser cutter – and that won’t be a cheap cutter to allow a 4 x 8 sheet with pass-thru conveyor capability), in large quantities you could probably bring it down to under that $2 USD mark.

      My numbers are only a guess, though – I might be wildly off, I just think if this were scaled properly it could be done fairly inexpensively.

  4. Does any one think we can use plastic sheets and something other than a laser to etch the plastic to make a similar end product?

  5. This looks similar to the way they make light pipes, those plastic (plexiglass, perspex etc.) “conduits” that bring light from say a pcb mounted led to a panel. I’ve found some info on how to make them at home but either they were incomplete or filled by too complex math and no practical examples.

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