Can You Etch It – Ruler

Welcome to Can You Etch It, the web’s first laser engraving series that specializes in laser engraving strange, unique, and even common items. Today I’ll customize an important tool for learning, the ruler.

Rulers have been around for ages.  Back when I was in school, I used plastic or wooden rulers.  Everyone had just about the exact same ruler.  Sure, you could write your name on it or draw on the wooden ones, but there was way to stand out (not that your ruler needs to stand out or anything).  Sometimes, you just want something different.

Now, there are many more options for rulers.  There are still the plastic and wooden variety but they now come in more color variations and sizes than in the past.  As I was shopping for school supplies for my kids, I saw the item featured today, an aluminum ruler.

This ruler was made by Westco and is available locally and online in a variety of colors.  One of the good things about this particular ruler was the arch at the end and a hole that could be used to hang it up.  It seemed like the perfect thing to add to the Book Worm Laser & Design toolbox.  With such a great tool, I just had to customize it, right?

Why laser engrave a ruler?

No one wants to buy a bunch of supplies and equipment just to have them stolen or lost.  Although rulers are often inexpensive, they are a tool.  If you don’t have that tool when you need it, your productivity and ability to do your work suffers.  Sure you could just write your name on the ruler but would it be durable?  Would it be easily removed?

When laser engraving anodized aluminum, marks are permanent.  The laser burns through the anodized layer leaving bare aluminum.  The only way the mark can be removed is by scraping off the hard anodization surrounding the mark.  Nothing sticks out like a sore thumb than an aluminum item that has been scratched down to the bare metal in only one place.  Very suspicious…

Another reason to laser engrave an aluminum ruler is information.  Consider all the formulas and information that children learn in school.  Often, much of that information needs to be referenced, not memorized (who, besides engineers and mathematicians, remember that the volume of a sphere is (4/3)πr^3).  Why not have a rules with all the formulas permanently engraved on the back.  Right there when you need them.  Another resource to help in education.

Here is the video showing the ruler being engraved.  The design that was chosen is the Book Worm Laser & Design logo at the top, the company name, and website near the bottom..  At the end of the video you can see the final result.  For more pictures, check out the end of the post.

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Can You Etch It Roundup

For those of you who are keeping score, here’s the list so far: an anodized aluminum ruler, hair bow, a couple of American Flags, a gift card holder, plastic labelsSouth Dakota frig magnet, a few failed light switch plates, a taco shell, Mount Rushmore coasters, house numbers, a cutting board6 social media iconsa mirror, a hand-drawn robot design, a CD jewel casea pair of drum sticksa luggage tag, a fishing reel, a couple of impact sockets, a drinking glassa little industrial labelinga baseballa Frappuccino bottle, a tennis ball, 12 Scrabble tiles, a custom ink stamp, Thank You cards, M&M’s, a slice of bread, a clothes pin, a cinnamon stick, a sweet potato, a walnut, and a toothpick.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for future installments.  Have a great weekend.

Don’t miss a single episode of Can You Etch It.  Subscribe to the Can You Etch It RSS feed

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