Groove Out! Emboss Your Own Business Cards via 3D Printed Pocket Press


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isla_280x280.22243297_9dn7wxgaWhile the human spirit is generally quite self-possessed, we’re often reminded that the US and its citizens are supposed to be extra special in that way, as we fought so famously and so hard, and were founded on the premise of complete independence. That theme remains strong throughout the country, and not just on July 4th. While the US certainly has its share of issues, capitalism continues to thrive, entrepreneurs continue to emerge and grab the spotlight with new innovations, and technology like 3D printing opens many new doors for the individual, small businesses, and of course, large corporations as well.

With the relative ease of digital design and 3D printing, as well as expanding affordability and accessibility, there are many things you can now create and manufacture on your own, whereas previously you had to meet with someone, make an order, pay out the nose, and then wait, wait, wait. If you have prototyping needs or small batch production needs, you’ve probably discovered the benefits of having your own software and hardware onsite. Not only can you produce parts and prototypes, but you can also enjoy downloading files and printing—or creating—your own tools, big and small. While it’s extremely fun to create something that’s simply aesthetically pleasing, making an actual functioning product is ultra-cool, can save you some big bucks, and is satisfying to share as well, both in person and online.

Take the creation of business cards. These are a traditionally a 2D marketing expense meant to serve as a way to announce yourself to potential clients. While you can choose any number of ways to try and stand out with your card, this area of marketing has become a bit stale. There are only so many ways to put your name on a tiny cardboard square. We’ve all been through the routine: before you can start handing your cards out to every friend and family member to get the obligatory oooh and ahhh, you have to order and then proof and then maybe order again because your title was misspelled in some embarrassing fashion—and so on. What if you could just handle it all yourself, on your own time?


Myers made four iterations of the 3D printed business card press.

That should all be easy enough, right? Actually, now it really is. While we expound on the benefits of 3D printing on an hourly basis here at work—and rightly so—my favorite perk evidenced over and over in this still-emerging technology is self-sustainability. We live in a busy world and it’s so much easier not to run on someone else’s schedule whenever possible. While you could 3D print your own business cards, with the advent of the Pocket Business Card Press, what was once a headache is going to turn into an addiction. You’ll be making your own business cards as well as everyone else’s just for fun.

The design for the little card press is simple, constructed with two cylinders offering mirrored text joined together by herringbone gears and a frame. It’s engineered so that you can put enough pressure on the cards to do a great embossing job all on your own. And best of all? No ink is required; instead, you have that classy, raised letter appearance.

Canadian designer Paul Myers of BetaThings did have to work a bit at getting this tool just right for you. While it might look like it was a cakewalk to design and make, this release is the result of four different prototypes. In his YouTube video (you’ve gotta check it out just to see his laid-back dance moves at the beginning—a perfect reminder that we all should be chillaxing just a little more in everything we do), Myers explains that when a friend of his suggested they create a way to make custom embossed business cards, he decided to take a step further and see if they could make a tool that allowed them to emboss ‘on the go.’

five - emobsser

four - embosser

Myers uses a CAD program to emboss text and a logo on one cylinder, and then debosses it on the other. With the two connected, you are able to begin printing cards, and can of course make as many embossers as you like with 3D printing. Whether you need cards or not, this just looks like too much fun to pass up on making. If you agree, check out Myers’ design on Thingiverse and make your own, keeping in mind that you will need some experience in CAD to create and edit the text and/or pictures. Check out the video below to catch a glimpse into the process, and the results. Discuss further in the 3D Printed Card Embosser forum over at


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