NFC Embedded 3D Prints

From Wikipedia:

Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters.

NFC, a new technology based on RFID, except that it allows two-way communication between two NFC devices or tags.

It’s been something I’ve wanted to play with ever since I got my Galaxy S3 (which supports NFC). So when I got my hands on some tags I figured I would try and embed them into my 3D prints. This is not a brand new idea, a company called Flomio offers a service when you can order 3D printed items with NFC tags embedded into them. I decided to figure out how easy it would be. Turns out, very easy if you already have a 3D printer. My NFC Tags came from RapidNFC. Check out their developer and starter packs which come with a variety of tags.

I found this Mario Key Chain on Thingiverse and figured it be a good start for my experiments.

After generating the gcode for the print I had a look at which layer would be best to add the tag into the 3D print. I decided to add in the tag after the first two solid layers and the first infill layer (30%). I wanted to tag to be invisible but still usable.

So after the first three layers I paused the print (You don’t want it to be paused too long) and stuck the nfc sticker onto the 3d Print.

NFC 3D Prints

After that you can just resume the print again and what your nfc tag being covered by plastic. The tag is pretty thin so the next layer went down ok, although you can see it was a bit sporadic on the tag itself.

NFC 3D Prints

After a few more layers the tag started to disappear. NFC 3D Prints


And eventually the print was done. Now I have a nice 3D printed keyring with an NFC tag embedded into it.

NFC 3D Prints

NFC 3D Prints


I tested the reading and writing of the tag on my phone and it works perfectly! Success. The fact that 3d prints are done by putting down layers of plastic makes it relatively easy to embed these tags.

The only question is, what are going to do with your NFC enabled 3D Print?

One thought on “NFC Embedded 3D Prints”

  1. Very clever idea. One use that i can think of would be phone docks either for the house or for the car. For Android there are apps that will trigger events or software based on NFC readable tags. I use one for instance to launch navigation to home when I swipe my house keys. It would be cool to add the function to a dock.

    is one.

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