is 3D printed Steal strong enough to become embossing stamp?

Discussion in 'Technologies and Hardware' started by eraser82, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. eraser82
    eraser82 New Member
    I would like to make my own business cards by inking up a custom stamp and whacking it into card stock.
    I'll get both an embossed and inked card with a whack of a hammer.

    I was wondering if the 3D printed steal could do the trick.
    I would take my business card design and bring it into 3dmax, extrude the design onto the z axis and expand one facing edge to taper the details into a wider base and finally a back plate of 1/4 inch of steal.
    I think this configuration respects the sandcastle structure rule - when the metal is still being held together with glue.


    if i have details on the surface of the card which are 1pt wide will the metal cut into the card or will the card blunt the metal?
    I'll be happy if the stamp produced 1000 good impressions

    also will the shift from glue to bronzing phase alter the surface and leave me with a stamp that dose not lie flat?
    if so - what are the margins, will a hammer whack make those tolerances negligible?

    Is the metal brittle? would repetitive strikes shatter the stamp - would adding a rubber backing help?

    Attached Files:

  2. Don't take this as official advice as I've never personally tried embossing. But...

    If you're looking to emboss the entire logo, I suspect the thin lines describing the ends of the bottle will be prone to cutting right through the card stock.

    The stamp will have a life limit, though it should last quite some time, depending on how hard the platten is on the other side of the card.

    I have no idea how flat the finished printed stamp will be, but if you can make a bit of additional height above the tapered support you mention, you could sand the stamp flat using a FLAT plate (table saw tops work nicely for this) and a sheet of fine grain sand paper or emery cloth.

    An alternative to a flat stamp is a cylindrical one. "Wrap" the pattern onto the outer surface, as it were. That way you wouldn't need to hammer the stamp, just roll it, which I suspect you could do by hand similar to a rolling pin technique. You could even make the cyliner a close fit over an existing piece of bar stock.
    JACANT Well-Known Member
    I don't think you will be able to do both.

    It would be cheaper and easier for you to get a proper stamp made, from the likes of this site.
  4. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I doubt that this would work for an embossing stamp, unless you are an old Sumerian still using clay tablets ?
  5. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    Actually I think this could work quite well but success will require a bit more control and engineering than simply "whacking" the die with a hammer.
    The 1pt line width might work if you bevel the edges of the logo so as to form a triangular cross section (narrow edge up). Actually, beveling all the edges of the design is a good idea. This is how tools made to stamp metal are constructed. The bevel reinforces the structure.

    You will want an absolutely flat, smooth face on the business end of the die and you can do this with abrasive paper glued to a dead flat surface like a metal plate or a piece of sheet glass. This procedure will insure complete contact between die and card stock. Treated this way the working edges of the die will be rather sharp so you will need to experiment and soften the edges (micro radius) so as not to shear through the card stock. You will want a relatively soft back surface under the die. Something resiliant so the die can leave a actually push into and permantly mark the card stock. A piece of discarded inner tube from a bike tire might work for this.

    Using a hammer might work but results would be inconsistant and will ultimately mess up the tool shank. Some form of press would be better. You want a controlled squeeze for embossing paper not an uncontrolled strike. A drill press would work for this, or you can buy a small arbor press. The import versions are cheap, under $50. You could also employ something like locking pliers (vice grips), maybe a toggle clamp, or even a bench vice. Just design the die to mate with a suitable holder. On paper stock this die should last for thousands of impressions. Think about those tools designed to emboss book pages with personalized logos or the devices used for marking documents with a notary stamp. Same thing here.

    If you are clever enough to build "bottle rockets" this should be a no-brainer and will definitely work if you give it a little thought and attention :D .