First designed for the automotive industry as a succinct way to tag products with information, bar code style, the QR code — short for quick response code — quickly developed into a marketing craze and a ubiquitous symbol for everything from restaurants to law firms.
The QR code is undoubtedly an efficient marketing medium for getting a customer to a website or page of information, whether you have it on a coffee mug, tee shirt, or the back of a van where thousands see it each day in traffic.
While the QR code continues to gain steam as a marketing tool, and as to where we find it, R&D Technologies has come up with a tactile, and fun, approach to the QR code that actually works. It’s a perfect way for 3D printing enthusiasts to show off their talents — and a clever way to advertise your business, especially if you are involved in design.
The folks at Embossify have made this a very simple and fun process. They offer a way to 3D print your artwork and family pictures, convert .jpgs into .stl files, and more. You can also make lithophanes and etched or molded artwork.
All you need is a picture of your QR code in .jpg format. Embossify will lead you through the process for converting your QR code, with just a few simple steps, beginning with selecting your file and clicking on Embossify. Next you will need to use FreeCAD to add a base (if you are unsure of how to use FreeCAD, you may want to check out some free online tutorials via YouTube) and create your .stl file for 3D printing.
The example from R&D Technologies was printed in black and white, as they stopped the 3D printer once it was finished completing the base. Rather than printing the entire QR code in white, the team added some contrast by pausing the printer and switching to a black ABS filament. If you don’t want to do that or have something else in mind, keep in mind that you can paint the finished object however you would like.
This adds a new spin to the QR code, which is an invaluable tool in getting information to your client base quickly. The 3D printed QR code could be affixed outside your office, inside on a counter, or any number of ideas. It should help gain exponential exposure as individuals not only notice the interesting 3D printed bar code as a raised relief-style piece of art — they will immediately want to scan it. With QR codes that go to lost or inactive pages being the biggest complaint from users, your job is to make sure they go to exactly the right place, making use of some incredible marketing.
R&D Technologies is a 3D printing company headquartered in Rhode Island. They are a full-service 3D printing bureau and also serve as a reseller of all Stratasys 3D printers. They offer training and have a team that provides comprehensive support.
Have you ever 3D printed a QR code? What other marketing items have you 3D printed? Tell us about it in the 3D Print Your Own QR Code forum over at 3DPB.com.