I recently visited Adafruit Lasers in New York (if you’re in the area and need a piece of electronic equipment engraved definitely check them out) where I was fortunate enough to meet Phillip Torrone of the Make Blog: Makezine and get a hold of one his metal business cards. I was very impressed by the card and immediately knew that I needed some of my own.
Anyway, P.T. made his using metal blanks found here, but I decided I needed a cheaper and quicker method. So I started looking around the shop (I work at Creative Awards & Promotions in Woodstock GA) and realized I could just one sheet of 24x12 outdoor aluminum and print a grid of cards on them instead of individually engraving blanks.
After I found the appropriate material I slapped it into the laser and set out making the vector file. I used Corel Draw X3 to make one template card and then duplicated it until I had filled one sheet of 24x12 outdoor aluminum (I ended up fitting 30 cards).
Here is a picture of the cards after they are done (I blacked out my phone number):
Next the sheet needed to be cut up using a metal shear:
Here are the cards cut into rows and then cut into individual pieces:
Now that I had individual cards all that was left to do was round the corners (we don’t want nasty cuts from these bad boys). The device below is what we use at work to round corners and can be bought here. It basically works like a hole punch except instead of having a complete circle cut out, it has a quarter circle. The actual punch is interchangeable; for this project I used a 5/16 corner but a 1/4 corner punch would work just as well. Once the appropriate punch is selected and installed all you have to do is slide the metal up into the corner and push down on the blue handle:
After I knocked off any burs from the rounder I was finally done: