View Full Version : Double sided tags material?

Steve Crawford
08-04-2014, 8:00 AM
A potential new client has given me the following specification, does anyone have ideas on the best material or solution for this?

"We want to produce tags, round, oval or rounded square, approximately 1" in diameter and have a QR code on one side with a web address and unique serial number on the other. I'm assuming there will be a small hole for attachment as well. They need to be robust, durable, non-toxic and recyclable if possible.
You need to develop a procedure to engrave both sides ideally a light surface with black engraving so the QR code can be scanned."

Any suggestions as to materials or process very much appreciated.

Guy Hilliard
08-04-2014, 8:30 AM
Double sided Rowmark Lasermax, white on black on white. If your supplier does not have it in stock they may need to order 2 full (24" X 48") sheets as a minimum order. You will need to make a jig to engrave the second side but you already have the required artwork from the cutout of the first side, just engrave a pocket in some scrap acrylic and Bob's yer uncle.

Mike Null
08-04-2014, 9:26 AM
I would suggest that everything be on one side which will save a lot of time. I'd consider stainless plates with Cermark.

Durablack could also be used for one sided engraving.

Tim Bateson
08-04-2014, 9:56 AM
...a light surface with black engraving so the QR code can be scanned...

Dark surface with white QR code works too. I've done a lot of anodized aluminum Dog Tags for a local pet ID company.

Kev Williams
08-04-2014, 10:35 AM
"round, oval or rounded square" mean they MUST be acrylic, and laser cut, unless you have machining capabilities...

Still, should be no problem with 3-sided rowmark.

1" parts with some 'comfort' spacing means at least 100 parts per 12x12 sheet. I would let the laser cut a blank sheet at 11x11, and then create a 10x10 matrix within it. Run the engraving on side one, flip it horizontally. If the code numbers are different as well as the serial numbers, be sure to enter the info right-to-left on the second side so each part is correct. Engrave the second side. Now mask both sides with transfer tape or equivalent, put them back in the laser and cut them out.

As long as you let the laser cut the original blank, and base the cuts and engravings to that blank, everything will line up nicely.

Mike Null
08-04-2014, 1:33 PM

What about brass or stainless steel?

Jackson Phillips
08-04-2014, 2:12 PM
One option would be to use metal blanks. If you don't have a source for them, just google for dog tag blanks and shop around. They come in every variation of rounds, ovals, squares, and rectangles you can think of in a range of metals, including painted, enameled, anodized, and bare (for use with cermark). Also, they're easy to find already holed.

After you've chosen the blanks you want, get a 1/32" sheet of acrylic and vector cut a tray for them to keep them in place and have a known spacing. Be sure to include thumb tab openings so you can flip the blanks over once the first side has been engraved. Then use the file you used to cut the tray out as a template for placing your graphics that need to be engraved.

When you do go to engrave, make sure to peg the tray tightly in place so you don't have to align everything after every run.

One thing to think about with bar codes is the possibility of interference with what is reading them. If you're using a very shiny metal (like polished brass or aluminum), you might get glare if someone is trying to read it with a smartphone in bright light.