Stamps can be a useful part of your job or a fun way to personalize stationery. They allow you to quickly recreate a design on any flat surface the ink you use can stick to. A limitation you can easily face, though, is the availability of designs that you want. While there are plenty of stamp designs available on the internet, you may not be able to find a design you like. With 3D printing, you can create your own stamps.
2D to 3D
If you’ve got a 2D design that you want to use, you may be able to import it into a 3D modeling program straight away. Alternatively, you can create or modify the design in a 2D graphics design program first. Remember, if your stamp isn’t symmetrical, you will need to mirror the design to stamp the right way around.
Tip: If your stamp includes text, it’s an excellent idea to double-check the spelling before mirroring the text. It’s a lot easier to see any problems and a lot easier to fix them the earlier you notice.
Depending on the 3D modeling program you use, you may need to import your 2D design in a specific format. Once you’ve got it imported, add depth to the design and then add a backing. Make sure that the two parts are attached, or your print may fail. The design and backing should each have a thickness of around 5mm. This is enough for the stamp to function and have the strength it needs. The backing should be at least a little wider than your design.
It can also be helpful to print the handle. It’s generally a good idea to print these separately. You want a very high infill ratio for the stamp and backing for optimum strength, at least 50%, if not more. The handle doesn’t need to be so dense. If you’re only making a few stamps, you can fit each handle to a stamp. You just need to superglue them together once they’re both printed. If you’re making more stamps, you may be able to save material by creating a standard backing size. This strategy, combined with designing a method to slide the stamp into the handle, will allow you to reuse one handle for many stamps.
Once your model is complete, print everything, and assemble the stamp. If you print the stamp out of a hard material such as PLA, you’ll generally get the best results by stamping on top of a soft surface such as a rubber mat. If you use a flexible filament such as TPU, the stamp will work better on harder surfaces such as a wooden table.
Stamps can be a cool way to personalize your stationery. Have you got any other tips for making custom stamps? Let us know down below.