Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Name Tag – Craig Santo

In order to add complexity to my design, I decided to make a custom shape using the union tool – a semicircle, rounded rectangle, and regular rectangle. The regular rectangle is barely visible, as it is only used to make a smooth connection between the rounded rectangle and the semicircle.

The smaller semicircle cutouts on both layers function both as a keychain clip, as well as a way for me to let more of the bottom layer show through from the front.

Initial template with top and bottom pieces.

My original (lab time) design used the same raster image, but with a different shape (a simple, rounded rectangle). My name and the image were also not imposed over each other. The most difficult part about putting the shape together was the merging point of the regular rectangle and the semicircle – the “mathematically correct” point resulted in a sharp corner where they connect.

I considered adding circular cutouts to the bottom layer that corresponded to the holes in the letters in my name (a, g, o), but ultimately decided against it. I decided that I didn’t want anything under/behind the name tag to “bleed through,” and that I would instead choose a font that made the letters distinct enough to be discernible without the cutouts visible. I would further highlight the cutout letters by choosing a lighter material for the top layer than the bottom layer.

I chose a VR headset for my image because I’ve been on VR course staff for 4 semesters, and I do VR work as an intern for the Advanced Visualization Lab at the NCSA.

Added name and raster image to top piece

This is how the name tag turned out. I used 1/8″ green acrylic for the front layer, and 1/8″ black acrylic for the back. The two layers were glued together with medium-strength acrylic glue (the water-based acrylic glue ended up not being strong enough). Getting the two pieces to set together was tricky – a small amount of the glue can be seen in the lettering, but it’s hard to see unless you’re really close.

Finished product. Used two colors of 1/8″ acrylic.

I originally wanted to do a lighter color for the top layer, but in retrospect I’m content with the dark green. There’s enough contrast in the two layers to make the text pop without the “inside” of the letters, and a lighter acrylic would likely not have shown the etched image as sharply as I wanted. Over all, I was really happy with the result, seeing as I have 0 experience with anything physical like this!

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