3D Printed Business Cards – Make Your Business Stand Out More for Less
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No matter what business you’re in, there are very few professions out there that don’t have use for business cards.
While using a professional service to make these cards is a standard way to go, what you often get is a cut-and-paste of hundreds of other cards out there. Despite what that famous scene in American Psycho told us, most people can’t really tell that much of a difference.
3D printing business cards is a great way to make your business stand out amongst the crowd, giving you something wholly unique that will stick in your potential customer and clients’ minds.
There are a lot of creative routes you can take when 3D printing your own business card, and here we’re going to look at how you can get started along with a few of the coolest examples we could find.
Why 3D Print Business Cards?
3D printing has been a handy resource for all kinds of businesses, including dentistry, toy making, and general online retailers. So it should come as no surprise that you can use 3D printing for business cards to help advertise too!
Steve Wozniak’s metal business cards have become something of a legend in business – don’t you want to have the same effect when you hand your card to people?
In Japan, business cards are considered an extension of yourself, and are treated with care and respect, following their practice of meishi. In the same vein, don’t you want to create a unique experience and make people remember the experience of meeting you, with an unforgettable business card?
Here are some of the top advantages of 3D printing your own business cards.
- It’s cheaper than going to a professional printer
- You can make something wholly unique to your business
- 3D printing business cards is a great exercise in creativity
- By saving the CAD file, you can always print more whenever you need them instead of returning to a printer and paying more
- Homemade business cards stand out more than your average affair, drawing more attention to your business in often interesting ways
How to 3D Print a Business Card
Unlike most 3D printing projects, 3D printing a business card requires a little more creativity.
Each business is unique, so while you can begin with a standard template as a blank canvas, you will need to do a lot of the design work yourself to make something unique to you and your customers.
Don’t be discouraged, though! It’s simpler than it sounds. With just a little bit of imagination, you can print a card that will really stand out.
Here are a few simple steps and tips to get you started.
Brainstorm Your Design
Starting any project from scratch seems daunting, but don’t worry, the answers to any creative problem are easier to find than you think.
A lot of why you’d want to 3D print your own business card is to show off your business your way. So it’s good to have an idea of just how far you want to go.
Deciding what kind of business card you want to print is a good first step before you even put pen to paper. Whether you want something really outstanding or even practical, or want to stick to a more traditional design, it’s good to know which avenue you’re willing to take before making any real first steps.
Start With Rough Drafts
It may be tempting to hop onto your preferred design software and get going, but to make the process easier, I recommend beginning with a simple pencil and paper.
Making rough drafts and polishing them over time is a great way to get your imagination flowing. With enough creativity and tweaks, you’ll end up with a design that you can use as a blueprint when you get to designing.
Know What Equipment You’ll Need
While your 3D printer will be able to do most of the work, your design may need some extra help. If the design you’ve finalized includes an intricate graphic or a picture of your face, you may need to employ the use of a laser engraver.
This is good news if you already have an all-in-one machine, but otherwise you’ll need some extra equipment. Be sure you know exactly what you’ll need to make your own business card before getting started to avoid disappointment down the line.
Don’t Be Afraid to Redraft
As with any creative venture you start from scratch, trial and error is a natural and expected part of the process.
Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out quite right, you can always make your tweaks and change them later. Recognizing what works and what doesn’t can even fuel your creativity and lead to some awesome results!
Here Are Examples of Great 3D Printed Business Cards – Types and Templates
If the idea of starting from nothing has got you sweating, don’t worry, there are plenty of customizable templates for all sorts of 3D printed business cards that you can download and make your own if you wish.
From fun and practical, to straight-laced and traditional, here are a few business card templates to give you a leg up.
Simple Customizable Business Card
Sometimes simpler is better, as this customizable business card file proves.
An easy design that still stands out due to its hollow lettering, this 3D printed card will come in very handy as a final design or a first step if you want to add your own flare.
As a business card, it will do the job perfectly as it is once you add your own details. As a base, it works well as a stepping stone ripe for customization and flare.
Circuit Board Business Card
If you work in technology, computer science, or any computer-based industry, then this circuit board business card template could be the eye-grabber you need.
It’s an easy design with room for your professional details. Picture it, someone needs your services and reaches into their wallet for your card, it’s pretty easy to find a business card that looks like a circuit board.
Not to mention the creative look of the otherwise simple template will help make you stand out as a pro.
Cassette Tape Business Card
Like the circuit board card above, 3D printed business cards are even more effective if they represent your company or service.
If you work in the music industry, then this cassette tape business card is a great way to get people in on your business. It looks cool and definitely stands out. No one’s going to be fishing through their wallet for long to find your details!
The only real downside to this example is that it’s a frame rather than an actual card. You will still need to print out your business card with the details in place to be visible under the tape itself.
For the best results, you’ll also need access to a laser cutter to complete the old-school look.
QR Code Business Card
This business card is a prototype that’s just waiting for a creative business owner to perfect.
If you don’t mind a little extra work, then you can make this modern-day business card with a QR code that leads straight to your business’ website!
Being up to date with modern technology is an important look for almost every business.
Plenty of people will be impressed with a QR code that looks sleek on the card, and comes in extra handy when they want to get in touch immediately to request your services.
Please note, however, that you will need a multi-color or 3D printer with dual extruders to make the QR code stand out enough to be recognizable to most devices.
Fun and Practical Business Cards
Nothing makes a business stand out quite like a fun or practical business card that really makes people take notice.
If you’re shying away from the more traditional aesthetic, you can really get imaginative with your cards to let people know just how passionate you are.
Business cards that double as puzzles or games are always a good look for any business. Like this card with a miniature model of a man you put together.
Truth be told, you can take just about any snap card like this catapult and add extra space for your details.
You can also make practical business cards from almost anything by customizing other 3D prints. You can either print or engrave your business details on things like this SD card holder.
Putting a business’ logo and details onto other, more practical thing has been a staple in free advertising for a long time. By adding this information to something people use every day, you’ll find a lot more eyes being drawn to you than simple cards that spend most of their lives in wallets.
Honorable Mention: 3D Printed Business Card Holders
There are plenty of public spaces like cafés and bars that allow people to advertise on their premises. This has been a valuable resource for freelancers for decades, and can really attract some attention to your business.
However, the eye-catching doesn’t have to end at the card itself. If you can find a particularly permissive place to leave your 3D printed business cards, you can make use of some cool 3D printed business card holders.
This one, for example, is a standard business card holder that has room on the front for a small company logo or emblem if you tweak it enough.
There’s also this business card dispenser with a special design that makes it easier to remove just one card at a time, as opposed to more standard models that can take a little bit of fidgeting.
It may seem like a tiny bugbear, but first impressions are everything, and no one wants their business to be introduced via an inconvenience, however minor.
If you work in a multi-faceted business, or have partnered up with friends to offer a variety of services, then this multi-story card holder is perfect for you. It’s a good design that does the job well and lets you advertise multiple services at once.
As mentioned above, you can also get more whimsical with business card holders that can be specific to your business. Bakers will love this card holder, while upholsterers and carpenters can advertise with this armchair holder for their cards.
That’s just a couple of examples! With a little searching and a touch of imagination, you can advertise your services easily before potential customers have even seen the card!
My personal favorite, however, is this fox speech bubble business card holder. It’s cute, eye-catching, and finally answers the age-old question of what does the fox say?