43 – Design and Manufacture of Rubber Stamps (21:56)

The Lightblade Learning Lab with Russ Sadler

The Lightblade Learning Lab is a series of videos that Russ did for Thinklaser Limited based on using the Lightblade 4060 Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine. Thinklasers Lightblade 4060 has a 400 x 600mm bed size and was supplied with a 60W EFR laser tube. In this session, Russ shows us how to design and manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp with your laser machine.

Laser Cut & Engraved DIY Rubber Stamp
Laser Cut & Engraved DIY Rubber Stamp

Contents

  • (Editor’s Note: Thinklaser advise checking that the rubber you use does not contain Chlorine)
  • Russ is using a product labelled as ‘Special Rubber for Laser Engraving’
  • Using the honeycomb bed to put the rubber on – blocking off the honeycomb to get better airflow across the material.
  • Using a test matrix which uses different speeds and powers.
    • ‘Matrix Test with Air Assist’ can be found here.
    • ‘Matrix Test without Air Assist’ can be found here.
  • Brushing away the dust (presumably a filler material?)
  • Cutting a test square (8mm/s and 68% power)
  • Designing a rubber stamp in RDWorks
  • Special rules to consider when engraving text and lines in RDWorks to ensure the correct things are engraved – checking with the Preview function.
  • Use of the Ramp Effect to prevent thin letters/objects from wobbling.
  • Reversing the image and outputting to a file.
  • Engraving and cutting the stamp.
  • Brushing away the dust.
  • Cutting a backing for the stamp.
  • Testing the stamp.
  • Summary.

My thanks go out to Tom at Thinklaser for giving permission to embed these videos on this site. If you are looking for a new laser machine from a quality supplier, then I would suggest you check out their website: www.thinklaser.com.

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Video Resource Files

Matrix Test with Air Assist

Matrix Test without Air Assist

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External Resource Links

www.thinklaser.com

www.rdworkslab.com

www.purex.co.uk

There are no more external resource links associated with this video.

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp

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[Music]

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you

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well welcome to another light blade

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learning rap

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today we’re going on a bit of a mission

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impossible now hello I’m try to make

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this series more of a demonstration than

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a discovery series there are times when

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I haven’t been here before and I did

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warn you at the beginning of this series

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that sometimes this would happen on my

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other machine I do a lot of discovery

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and research work so that I can look a

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bit more confident when I demonstrate

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things to you today I have no experience

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at all so we’re going to dive in at the

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deep end and you’re going to see how I

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and make you should approach dealing

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with new materials you haven’t tackled

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before now what I’ve got here is

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something that’s called special rubber

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for laser engraving and think placer

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have asked me if I could show you how to

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make rubber stamps it’s a bit like

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asking the Pope to run a marathon when

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you think he last did it you’re right

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never that’s the same with me and this

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material so we’ve got to learn quite a

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few things about this material before we

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can attempt to make a rubber stamp and

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that’s the process that I hope I’m not

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going to make an idiot of myself

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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demonstrating to you here’s the basic

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machine with its bars and we’ve got a

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workout

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first of all we’re going to be

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ultimately engraving this material yeah

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look it’s a bit like trying to nail the

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smoke ring to the wall yeah

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I’m not so sure it’s sitting exactly

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flat on there because I can feel it

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Ripley so that’s not a good start for

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engraving because the back of the rubber

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stamp is not going to be seen it’s gonna

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have to be attached to something it

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wouldn’t matter if we use this that will

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support it nice and flat and it won’t

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matter if we do mark the back as we cut

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across all these honeycombs the one big

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thing that I don’t like about the

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honeycomb table is that the air that

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comes into the machine goes down and

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that’s not good news when you’re trying

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to engrave you want them you want the

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airflow to go across the surface so it’s

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debatable whether or not I should block

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off the rest of this here well there we

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go look we’ve got a piece of material

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that blocks off most of the most of the

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air that wants to go down there and

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we’ll be just working in this little

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corner here so we shall have a fairly

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good air flow across the surface

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but we’re going to look at this test

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through the through the glass because I

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want first of all to make sure we’ve got

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an airflow running across the machine so

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I’ve got the cover closed and because

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this is a rubber material that I’ve not

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used before even though it says for

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laser engraving that doesn’t mean to say

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it’s safe to breathe and the first thing

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we’re to do is something that I call a

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matrix test and basically it’s a scan

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test to see just how this material is

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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going to perform

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now this metric test will be available

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on the object laser website and it’s

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available in two forms this first form

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that I’m going to use is with air assist

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normally if we’re doing engraving we

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don’t want air assist but this is a sort

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of a plasticy rubbery material and it

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might produce a lot of smoke and fumes I

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don’t know we’ll have to wait and see

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certainly not a lot going on there now

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we come on to the slightly higher power

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we’ve gone about 10% I think it’s the

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first one

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and then this second line is about 30% I

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think and then the next line is about

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65% and what we’ve got three different

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powers four different speeds so we’ve

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got 400 millimeters a second 300

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millimeters a second

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200 millimeters a second and then 100

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millimeters a second

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[Music]

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first of all we have got a distinct

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burnt rubbery smell it doesn’t mean to

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say it’s dangerous but it’s it’s an

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observation now what I can see on here

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is a lot of dust and as you can see it

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is only dust

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so it’s interesting this material is

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obviously burning away whatever the

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binder is in this material and it’s

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leaving behind this dust which must be a

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filler material within this rubber so

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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it’s an interesting material that’s all

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I can say it’s not burning

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and it’s giving quite a nice clean cut

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now whether or not we can see lines in

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the bottom there even though I’ve got

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this set 2.1 it could be that we could

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maybe defocus it a bit but then again

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all we’re really interested in is

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removing the background and the question

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is how much of the background do we need

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to make a rubber stamp

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well that one there looks to be about

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probably half maybe half a millimeter

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that one there looks to be quite deep so

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that’s a hundred millimetres a second

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and I would suggest that that’s probably

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nearly a millimeter deep

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[Music]

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so now we’re going to try and do a test

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square and we’re doing this 8

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millimeters a second

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and 68%

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[Applause]

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a bit marked on the surface but not

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terribly so the edges actually again

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quite clean it’s dusty to start with I

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wonder whether we can go a bit faster

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faster we can cut generally the better

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say the smokey burn around the outside

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and it hasn’t made it and it hasn’t made

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it through

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it’ll probably push out because it’s

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pretty flexible

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it’ll tear out but that’s not what we

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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want so it looks as though eight

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millimeters a second is what we’re going

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to be stuck with we now know the

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engraving parameters and the cutting

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parameters so we can go and design stamp

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well we’re not going to make a monstrous

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size stamp because I haven’t got a big

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stamp pad so we’ll choose a convenient

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rectangle we’re going to make that fifty

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mil by twenty five millimeters now going

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to do a ctrl copy ctrl C then I’ll put

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the arrow there I’ll do a ctrl V and

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I’ll put the arrow here and do a ctrl V

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and a ctrl V now all become clear in a

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minute this one here that’s our outside

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shape and I’m going to make that blue

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because I want that to be a cut line and

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eight millimeters a second is what we

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need

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cut blowing yes output yes speed 68 68

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that’s fine okay so that’s our cut layer

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there and now what I’m going to do is

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I’m going to reduce that by two

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millimeters overall in each direction so

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I’m going to make that 48 and that 123

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and then I’m going to make this one two

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millimeters smaller than that so it’s

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going to be 46 by 21 okay

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I’m now going to pull these all together

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and overlap them and I’ll do that by

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using this and this and there we go

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they’re all nicely grouped together now

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I just pull this one in so that it

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doesn’t take up such my space when I

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look at it on the preview screen so

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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we’ve got a blue cut layer and we’ve got

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black scan layers let’s just check that

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scan output speed yes we decided 200

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millimeters was the right speed we’re

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blowing and we’re scanning and we’re

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doing that at yes 65% that’s what we

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agreed on and we’re going to set the

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interval down here we’ll leave that at

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point one which is where I had it before

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so that’s probably going to be okay

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because it seemed to work alright on the

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scan test so point one okay now we want

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to put some text in here and first of

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all I think we’ll set this to a fairly

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bland and simple text Arial it’s quite a

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thin text as well which is what I want I

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don’t want a bold text and I’ll explain

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why in a minute

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we set the width to 100% and size hider

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at five millimeters that sounds pretty

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reasonable it’s small but not too small

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uppercase D est that’s pretty inventive

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isn’t it and there it is so now we can

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move that into our box and now we’ll put

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some more text in let’s be a little bit

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more creative this time should we and

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just to emphasize that I think we’ll

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turn it into something bolder how about

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Arial black yeah Arial black

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that should do then we’ll try and slip

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that in there and it’s just too big so

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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what we do would just squeeze that down

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a little bit yeah now it will go into

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there we go like that

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okay looks as though we’re nearly done

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now if we use it for those of you that

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haven’t done this sort of what can I

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call it vector text and graphics before

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in our D works there are some

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interesting rules that apply with

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scanning let’s just preview it and I’ll

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show you what I mean I can see from

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there that the test and the top secret

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are cut they’re not engraved have I got

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those accidentally on the wrong layer

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We certainly have look this text is in

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blue and it ought to be in black on a

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scan layer and not on a cut layer so

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let’s go back and preview it again so

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everything that’s white will be scanned

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is that what we want no because if we

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cut tests and top-secret and the frame

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the only thing that will be standing out

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will be the background so this is

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totally the wrong way around

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how do we get it the other way around

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well the answer is actually quite simple

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the rules for scanning are few got

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everything everything scanned on the

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same layer from the outside the first

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complete object in other words it’s not

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going to be a gap in it then it comes

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across will be engraved and so that

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frame there between the first and second

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line will be engraved the next section

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will be blank so that means all of this

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background will be blank

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in the next section after the blank

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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section which will be all these

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individual letters will be engraved

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that’s not what we want now just for the

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moment I’m going to put these two items

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here into a group so that they don’t get

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messed around when I align things so I’m

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going to pop those into a group and then

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I’m going to mark a all of this slot and

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we’re going to align them both

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horizontally and vertically like that

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then nothing seems to have changed

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except that what I’ve got I’ve got black

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lines black lines black lines and black

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texts and my blue line has disappeared

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into the background that’s my cut layer

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I mean let’s predict how that black line

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will have affected things it comes

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across this black layer first and so it

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will engrave between that outer line and

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this inner line and then it will not

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engrave across the next boundary and

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then it will engrave everything that’s

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where my error is which is all this

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background and then the next boundaries

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that it comes across will be the letters

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where it will not engrave and we can

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confirm that with the preview engraved

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not engraved engraved not engraved

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that’s exactly what we want black is the

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surface and white is the background that

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will be engraved so that’s great but

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there is one more thing to be done but

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there are several things to be done

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actually but one important thing to be

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done these are very thin letters and the

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problem with thin letters as they may

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well wobble when you try to use them as

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a stamp and so there is a facility built

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within our D works and let’s bring the

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parameters back up again there’s a

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facility here called ramp effect so

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we’re going to click ramp effect and

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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underneath it brings up a window called

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ramp length now currently I’ve got that

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ranked length set to point three and

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what that means is that down the side of

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each letter the

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we’ll be a little point three wide

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embankment let’s put it that way a

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buttress a slope now to make this a

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little bit clearer what I’m going to do

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is I’m going to change that to one

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millimeter

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we’re going to see what it looks like on

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the preview and there we go now you get

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a bit of an idea of how it works from

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the preview you can see these abutments

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and slopes down the side of each letter

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and they will obviously stiffened these

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very thin letters up it doesn’t really

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matter about these thick letters because

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they’re stiff enough to hold themselves

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up but hey one millimeter is a silly

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amount because look you can see things

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are beginning to join together so I

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don’t think we need anywhere near point

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we don’t need anywhere near one

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millimeter so we’ll go back and we’ll

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reset that again to about will set it to

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0.3 okay now we can take a quick preview

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of that again and you’ll see that

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they’re still there but they’re much

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more compact and they don’t join up with

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each other they don’t merge up between

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the letters okay so I think that’s the

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job done we’re ready to save it and

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output it to a file ah no we’re not

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anybody spot the deliberate error put

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some handles around the hole of that and

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let’s do this now does it make more

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sense so we saved that to a file pop out

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to the Machine and see if we can make it

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Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)
work

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[Music]

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most of the smoke is going back it’s not

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coming out of the machine it might not

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seem that to you but

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[Music]

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that’s the right way to do it close the

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door and have just a little bit of

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airflow right across the machines you

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can see the difference it makes

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first of all yes it has just about cut

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out and then all that dust look just

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sitting in there some sort of powder

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some sort of filler that’s obviously

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used in there the edge just cleans off

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even though it is a little bit dark

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00:19:07.789 –> 00:19:14.070
again it looks as though it’s burnt dust

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of some sort because it comes up pretty

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clean I’m surprised about that and if we

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look at it carefully we can see that the

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letters are very slightly tapered which

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is exactly what we want we want these

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thin letters here to be supported I’ve

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got here is a piece of white perspex

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00:19:32.63 –> 00:19:38.750
just because it happens to be white and

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on the back I’ve attached a piece of

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strong double-sided tape this is

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industrial-strength double-sided tape

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right so there we go there’s our little

Transcript of Design and Manufacture a DIY Rubber Stamp (Cont…)

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stamp holder why I should do is peel off

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that

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will stand on edge so that we get the

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edges nicely lined up and we’ll pop that

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down in front of it like that

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there we go that’s nicely lined up

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and we’ve got that top-secret stamp here

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we’ve got my top-secret classified

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document and it’s written in invisible

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ink for double security reasons as well

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as encoded so should just pop that on

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the ink pad and

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[Music]

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[Music]

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[Music]

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me not knowing how to use the ink pad I

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think now I think we’ve fixed it now

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there we go we’ve got the secret there

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scrub it across the city

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scrub it across the ink pad don’t blob

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it we just need a thin film on the

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surface

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well that wasn’t as embarrassing as I

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00:21:26.12 –> 00:21:30.230
thought it might be it turned out to be

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quite a straight road that we were

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traveling so I’m very pleased with the

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end result of that nothing particularly

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dangerous about it the material was

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pretty easy to cut it was certainly very

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easy to engrave well it’s one of the

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nicer materials that I’ve worked with

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apart from acrylic so thanks for your

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time and I’ll catch up with you in the

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next session

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