I’ve recently found a program called QR Stenciler. Give it a picture QR code and it will create a stencil design from it. I’ve updated my QR code design and added it to my usual business cards. Here they are rendered in four styles: black acrylic, black card stock, black acrylic embossed and clear acrylic embossed.
As an experiment, these cards worked out well. Cutting out the QR code makes the design more visually interesting than the usual QR card style. When comparing the designs, I feel the card stock design stands out the best due to the sharpness of the QR design. Laser cutting a detailed QR code from acrylic will melt some of the surrounding plastic loosing details. The emboss on the clear acrylic heated up the cards so much they are visibly warped. The embossed black acrylic is not warped, but its cut from 3 mm stock instead of the 1.5 mm that the clear acrylic is cut from. Twice the material to soak up the heat means less warping on the black acrylic.
Of all the designs, the clear embossed and black card stock design can be scanned easily. Just place it on it on a a material of the opposite color and it works. MAGIC! The two black acrylic materials are a little more interesting. Due to the thickness of the material, the QR code will be obscured unless the scanner is directly above. Alignment is the key. If held up against a bright light also allows scans. The acrylic business cards I’ve made in the past don’t scan as easily as these, so this is a successful (expensive, brittle) design.
Of all the designs, the black embossed acrylic is the more visually appealing. Embossing on acrylic is a subtractive process. The black text is left intact and shows the shiny acrylic surface while the surrounding material is dulled. This gives the text a glossy appearance. If I render the black acrylic embossed design again, I’ll add a box around the QR code to give it more of a contrast from the surrounding finish.