3D printed QR code stamps - Shapeways Magazine
Shapeways, The Community

3D printed QR code stamps

Update: watch the movie for a 1 minute to see what this is all about:


If you’re not familiar with QR codes they are basically a new form of bar code. With any camera phone and the right software you can take a picture of the QR code and it will take you to a website for example. You can try it now with the QR code above and one of these tools.

QR codes were supposed to be the next big thing: a bridge between the real world and the web. You could put the codes anywhere and people could then save the information on their phones for later or find out more about a building, a t-shirt at that moment. Like human tetris and tentacles QR codes are currently only really mainstream in Japan though. 

FluidForms a while back made a QR code Belt buckle and inspired by them we decided to do something QR codes too.

I made a 3D printed QR code stamp, now I can stamp anywhere and people can take a photograph of the stamp and will then be directed to my website.

Here’s how I did it:

1. I went to a QR code generator, typed in the URL and got my QR code.

2. I opened the saved image in the Gimp and flipped it to horizontal(under image-transform).

3. Uploaded it to the Shapeways Stampmaker, ticked the for use with light box and ordered it for $25.

4. Shapeways 3D prints the stamp and ten days later I get it, and now I can stamp my QR code anywhere.

The whole thing took me 10 minutes.

This is what you get from Shapeways, a 3D printed flexible stamp sheet, 9 by 13cm. We also give you a small acrylic block to use as a back for the stamp, the stamp sticks to the block but you can remove it and exchange it for other stamps if you want.

You also will need stamp ink pad. You can use any ink you like. I made my QR code very large, so I needed to use a bigger block than the one I got for free but you could just make smaller QR codes and place lots of them on the image that is to be Stampmaker-ed.

Here’s how the scanning of the stamp works:

Arno has a Nokia E71 and it has barcode tool on the phone as standard(menu-tools-barcode). He could read my stamps virtually all the time on lots of different surfaces. Here is a list of Nokia phones that come standard with the Nokia barcode reader. The page also shows you where you can download other readers for any other smartphones for free. I downloaded QR Reader for the Iphone and paid a buck for it, I was not as lucky with that tool as it only worked rarely.

ProTip: you do in all cases have to apply pressure slowly but surely and be careful not to move the stamp sideways while stamping. If you have a lot of light areas or gaps in the resulting stamp then it will not work. Some porous & uneven surfaces are hard to do. Smooth concrete works fine, uneven concrete is hard. Steel girders, smooth walls, painted walls, painted floors, tile, board, tables, plastic, paper all work well. Enjoy.

Although we’d really like for you guys to try this out, please be aware that we only advocate using the Shapeways Stampmaker to stamp your own property, and accept no liability la di da da etc..


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