DIY Wooden NFC Business card

In this article we create a wooden NFC business card  with an epoxy inlay. The card contains a NFC chip with contact details or a website information. If you put it close to a phone it will  show the contact details or open a website.

The parts that we need for this NFC business card  are quite cheap. We need half a sheet of veneer. A pack of 15 sheets costs around 10 bucks. The  NFC tags themselves are 7 Euro for a pack of ten. In addition we need very little  pigment powder and a drop of epoxy. If you batch out a bunch of these cards  each one would cost less than 1 Euro.

Designing the NFC business card

The design in Inkscape is very simple  and straight forward. I drop my logo and the NFC icon into Inkscape and  size these to fit on a business card. After cutting the logo on the laser cutter it  will contain some loose parts in the middle. In order to align these properly I will  engrave a thin outline into the second layer. One of the layers contains  a cutout for the NFC chip.


With all the design work done I open the svg in  K40Whisperer and first engrave the black outline. Then I also send the red  cutting path to the laser. Note that the grain of each layer is  rotated by 90 degree to the next one. This stiffens up the card.  Basically we create our own plywood.


The laser cutter is a K40 Chinese laser cutter. If you look for more information on it have a look at this review.

Assembly and epoxy inlay

We end up with a set of puzzle pieces.  When gluing the internal parts of my logo on the second sheet the engraved outline  is a big help to positions these correctly.

I then glue the top two and the bottom two layers  together with wood glue and let the glue dry.


After gluing the top and bottom together the  delicate parts are stabilized with thin superglue.


Before applying the epoxy for the epoxy inlay  I always add a thin layer of water based poly so that the colored epoxy does not sip into  the wood pores and leaves a nasty color stain.

After the finish is fully cured I mix some 5 min epoxy with pigment powder  and smear it into the recesses.


Sanding and finish

I let the epoxy cure for half a day  and and then sand off the excess. The surface is sanded to 220 grid.


After sanding and a bit of spray lacquer  let’s look at the finished product. It actually has two major flaws: On the left hand  side I sanded through the top layer of veneer and it seems that I didn’t  mixed the red epoxy good enough so that a part of the NFC icon  is only filled with clear epoxy.


Programming the NFC business card

But these are only cosmetic issues and do not  affect the functionality of the NFC business card. Using the free app NFC Tools on my mobile phone I can read the data from the NFC chip that is  burried between the veneer layers. At the moment there is no data stored on the chip – which  has a remaining capacity of around 500 Byte.

With the same app we can store any kind of  data – as for example a business card or a URL. You could also add the access code for  you wireless network or any kind of data.

I would like to store the URL of my website on  the chip. After removing the chip from the phone I press write and then touch the phone with the  card. The information is now written on the chip.

In order to use the business  card we need no special app. Just touch the phone with the business  card and the website is opened.