Create Custom Nametags with 3D Printed Textures and QR codes

   By Rich Annino on June 22, 2023

Have you ever represented your company at a trade show and thought to yourself simple nametags and lanyards just aren’t enough to keep a connection with a customer or a prospect after you’ve made the initial introduction?

On today’s hardware video tech tip, we’re going to make exciting textured 3D printed QR code name tags using SOLIDWORKS, KeyShot and the Stratasys J55 printer.

Designing our model with SOLIDWORKS and KeyShot

To start, we created a basic model. Then we created some text and initial outlines with carbon fiber and wood grain patterns and textures. From there we made additional modeling constraints. We’ve added some smoothness and a body that intersects the letters at the top, we created a block body for the woodgrain as well as adding intersecting letters to the bottom portion. The last thing we did was create a body on the sides, as well as a separate body for the QR code. Then we exported it as a 3MF file.

Now from there we hop over into KeyShot and we open up our 3MF file. We see that our woodgrain textures are here and are carbon fiber textures, but we don’t have anything going on or two additional bodies. From there we’re going to double click here. I’ve already applied this QR code here, but we’ll go ahead and grab it from our texture tree, and we can move it around however we like. And for our secondary body, we’ve chosen a really cool looking blueprint diagram image to go there. And the last thing we’ve done here is added the woodgrain body, if we go over to textures, we have this bump map texture area.

Finalizing the file for 3D printing

You can see here in my file below that It’s already captured the different textures from the initial file. So, if I click and drag and then drop it and bump, it gives it another layer of detail. As we export this as an additional 3MF image file, that file will recognize both the diffuse color layer and the bump map layer and the J55 in the GrabCAD print software will then recognize that and allow us to do bump displacement mapping. Go ahead and do that, click File, Export, 3MF and we have our file exporting now. And with that model exported, we’re going to go over to GrabCAD print and we will import that model to the tray.

GrabCAD Print Bump Map Displacement Settings

As you can see here, we actually now have a graphical representation of that woodgrain texture, which is great. And we can control quite a bit further. So, what I’m going to do is flatten it down on the tray. Then I will grab the body and choose ultra clear.

So, we have our white point and black point. White point is where it’s going up out of the surface. Black point is where it’s going down into the surface. And given we have letters that are sitting inside of the other body, the woodgrain body, we’re going to set our white point to zero. And we’re going to increase our black point, our distance down into the part to -0.03. So, 30 thousands of an inch into the part. Now we’ll hide that body.

The last thing I’m going to do is select all of these bodies because I want to make them VeroUltra White. After that, right clicking will show all of the part and the last thing I’ll do is click glossy. And at this point, we are ready to send this to the printer. And now I’m off to Eastec!

Scanning the QR code on a 3D printed nametag

Reflecting back on our trip to Eastec, where we tested out our 3D printed texture name tags, I can honestly say that these were a smash hit. The color, the QR code data, the translucency, and the ask me about section, the carbon fiber texture that we put on in SOLIDWORKS and especially the bump displacement mapping that we applied in KeyShot and printed using the J55 were fantastic. I can’t wait for our next project, and I hope you join us next time.

Interested in learning more about full color, multi texture, multi material, PolyJet 3D printing? Check out our blog with everything you need to know about PolyJet technology.

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Rich Annino

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