Make stamps by using Shapeways and Sugru

Discussion in 'Tips and How-tos' started by MichaelMueller, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. MichaelMueller
    MichaelMueller Well-Known Member
    I like stamps a lot, so I was happy to find out, that there is an easy and cheap way to make stamps by using Shapways and Sugru!
    You probably know Sugru already. If not, it's an air-curing rubber that can be formed by hand. It bonds to most materials and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight.


    My "Owl Stampmaker" is a very simple 3D modell. You can use free software like Blender or Google SketchUp to design something similiar.
    Shapeways "Detailed Material" is perfect for making a mold for stamps. The stampmaker at the example has the dimension 30 x 30 mm (1.2 x 1.2 in) and is 2 mm (0.08 in) thick. The embossed parts should have a depth of 1 mm (0.04 in)
    After you've received your stampmaker, you'll be able to create your stamps with Sugru.

    What you need:
    1. A negative mold (the stampmaker), made via Shapeways 3D printing service.
    2. Sugru.
    3. A handle which should fit to the size of the stamp. E.g. a piece of wood or you can create the handle via Shapeways, too.
    4. Liquid soap.
    5. A knife.

    Put a thin layer (2 mm) of Sugru on a handle which should have approximately the same size as the stamp. Make sure the Sugru on the handle is smooth and plane.


    Put some liquid soap on the stampmaker. This will help to detach the sugru from the mold. Press the stampmaker against the Sugru and remove it without destroying the imprint you made.


    Grease some liquid soap on a plane surface and scrub the Sugru-Stamp against it. Don't use too much pressure! This will help to make the stamp perfect smooth and plane. Use a knife to cut away all unused Sugru on the edges of the stamp.


    Don't forget to clean the stampmaker. This way, you can make as much stamps as you like. Almost done! Let it dry overnight and have fun with your new, handmade stamp! You'll need an ink pad with stamping ink for printing! Here is a picture of my first attempt. I'm already happy with the result, but I'm sure it can be still optimized. The good thing: you can make as much stamps as you like!


    Have fun!
  2. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    Great post, thanks!

    Now all we need is a bunch of (inverted) stamp co-creators ;)
  3. MichaelMueller
    MichaelMueller Well-Known Member
  4. It is certainly interesting to see that a stamp can be made using 3-D technology, however first making a pattern plate is a backward step for stamp makers. The real challenge would be to be able to directly print the stamp characters.The material to do so seems to be missing! Anyone with a different opinion? I am very interested in finding out a method to directly print rubber or silicone material type characters.
  5. MichaelMueller
    MichaelMueller Well-Known Member
    Maybe the new "Black Elasto Plastic" material can be used for stamps? It seems to be not very detailed but it's worth a try.

    There are already a few companys out there who provide the service of making a custumized stamp ... You send a picture and get the finished stamp.

    The good thing by using Sugru: it is really cheap. After you made a "stampmaker" via Shapeways you can make as many stamps as you like for less than a dollar for each!
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Shapeways Had a material for stamps. A long time ago. But I don't think it was price competitive. As Michael said, the Sugru is cheap, and I'm assuming didn't do any damage to his mold. So added bonus, you could make multiple cheap stamps.
  7. There is no doubt that the method you described allows simple stamp making. To make the so called art stamps, yes re-using the mold offers the possibility to make multiple stamps. If you are in the office type stamps (name and address stamps or custom made stamps) multiples are not often needed.

    I am looking at 3-D printing as a possibility to produce more than a few stamps per day and in any case the in between step of making a mold is not prefererred for a variety of other technical reasons. The real challenge would be to print the text die directly from the 3-D printer and the material used should have the capability to transfer the ink evenly, to deliver a perfect impression.
  8. MichaelMueller
    MichaelMueller Well-Known Member
    Hi Wil-O,
    I agree, there are certainly better ways to make an address stamp or a stamp which is only needed once.
    Maybe Shapeways bring the old stamp-material back, but as Mike said, it might be too expensive.
    I'm working on a letter-set to make textstamps with sugru. Hope this will work well. ;) html
  9. A very neat looking set, must be a lot of work! As far as stamp making is concerned, I think a letter set does not offer enough flexibility, in terms of fonts, sizes, capital and lower characters, etc. Would it be possible to make the entire stamp layout, exactly as you need it, like with a name and address stamp? Could you use that as your master mold and apply the Sugru method. Let's imagine you would make a 4 line name and address stamp, first line 12 pnt Helvetica and the next lines out of 8 pnt Helvetica. What would a master mold for one stamp cost? Can you avoid entrapping air between the Sugru and the master mold?

    I have seen rubbery or silicon type products come by. Is there a silicon material with which you could print directly?
  10. Goede
    Goede New Member