Metal Business cards

I ordered a bunch of metal business card blanks off Amazon this week. I hoped they would be thick enough to electroengrave, but they are way to thin for that. They do engrave nicely on the Glowforge though. This is 1000/80 340lpi.

I have purchased the materials to do a direct photo emulsion onto thicker aluminum plate, and I should have the materials together to do that this week. That process won’t involve the Glowforge though.

Here’s the stock I ordered.


Wow, they really did come out great. Wish I could think of a use for these, it would be fun to try it.

Very nice and thanks for the link!

I just purchased a few packs of those too. I had some other, higher quality ones but they were very thick and expensive ($2/each) and in the volume I wanted to make something it wasn’t practical. I wish that the ones you posted about were a little thicker, but they do engrave nicely (and are super inexpensive).

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Have you thought about trying this?


these came out great i purchased the same ones as well, what setting did you type in for the material thickness and focus height?

I am in the process of making a lot of etched Brass Aluminum reproduction plates. I had the best luck powdercoating the material and using the laser to ablate the areas I wanted to etch. I got pretty decent results. I have some photo resist material coming today, I’m going to try doing it the way they do in industry. I’m also custom etching PCB boards, so it’s all very closely related.

For quick and dirty, the laser does work very well. For production, it’s just too slow, and so far not quite as fine detail.

I’m very happy with the electro engraving process. The chemistry is simple and the process is very low tech.


I used double sided tape to stick it to the top of an aluminum tile that I am holding to the honeycomb with magnets. I put blue tape on the tile, and scored the outline into the blue tape. I then center the card in the score. For height, its the height of the tile, card and tape. which in my case comes to 0.17. Using this method you don’t have to be dead on with the height, you are using the score outline for alignment, not the camera. Autofocus takes care of the laser focus.


Sweet thank man!

That is cool! I’ll be ordering some of those today! Thanks for sharing.

I just started my own consulting business and need to make some business cards. These will be perfect! Thank you!


Wow, I would love to try this, would you kindly help me. Specifically with the image, how did you get the image to engrave. Many thanks, Dave

Hey - see this thread, load of additional details in there. Pretty straight forward once you create your image in something like Inkscape.

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I’ve tried using the blue metal cards from Amazon, which are all but identical to the ones we order from only in silver. I used the same format expecting good results only on the blue card. But everything is kinda’ blurred and not crisp. Maybe I need to raise it up a bit too?

It’s actually coated not anodized…I ran into the same issue. You can clean it off and make it look crisper by rubbing (vigorously) with a damp Magic Eraser.

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I just received my glowforge and have the same business cards but when I go to engrave nothing is printed on them…what am I doing wrong?

Do I have to convert my photo to an svg prior to engraving? I’m asking because mine is not printing anything…not sure what I’m doing wrong

Hi! Welcome to the forum.

You might have better luck starting a new topic rather than asking in this old one, since this likely isn’t really related the original topic.

Have you done the first prints tutorials?

You can engrave both raster (“photo”) and vector (SVG) images on a Glowforge. The settings may be slightly different depending on your image. A photo may need to be set to “convert to dots,” for example.

Sharing your image (or part of it) will likely get you more tailored advice.

Does your machine move like it should be engraving when you run the job?

A common issue for the symptom you describe is having left the engrave power setting at the default, which will be too low to make a mark.

What settings are you using?

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What did you select for the Material?

I picked these up and gave them a shot. Beware they are extremely thin and do feel like a cut hazard on your fingers. Comes out looking good!