March 2, 2020

Making a Dot Maker for QR Codes

- Therese Willkomm, PhD, ATP

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Most QR codes on documents and business cards are about an inch and can provide access to information, documents, podcasts, websites and videos on the internet.

My favorite website for making QR codes is

On this website, I simply copy and paste a URL into the field and then click on download QR code. I then label these QR codes and save them on my computer As JPEG images. Then when I create a business card or a ”how-to” document, I insert the QR codes next to the image or on the back of a business card. In Hong Kong, I discovered that everyone puts QR codes on top of the business card and not on the back. This probably saves in printing costs for business cards.

QR codes can be scanned using the camera on a iPhone or an android phone. I have created over 2000 QR codes for access to documents on the Internet, or YouTube videos, podcasts, and more. In addition, I put three QR codes on the back of my business card to provide quick access to my book, the ATinNH website, and the graduate certificate program in assistive technology. Recently, I came up with a way to make these QR codes accessible for individuals who experience blindness. I made a simple DOT Maker. The goal is to have a dot in the lower left hand corner of all QR codes. Then, when you give someone a document or a business cards that has these dots on them, they would know that there are QR codes that lead to more information. The person can then put their left index finger on the dot and then with the smart phone in their right hand, place the camera over the finger and then lifting the iPhone gradually until it captures the QR code and let’s you know, via voice over, the website that you then tap on and to go to the YouTube clip or to the document that you want to read or the website.

The tools materials and prep work that you need to create a dot maker include: heavy duty pliers/wire cutter to bend the inside wire of a 1 inch paper clip at 9O degrees and cut at 1/4” high; A pair scissors to cut the 1”x1/2” pieces of Dual Lock and Gray VHB tape; And a a Corroclaw or Klever cutter to score at 4” or in the middle of the 1“ x 8“ piece of corrugated plastic with the flutes going the 1 inch direction so that it will fold in half.

Simply peel and stick the 1 inch by half inch pieces of VHB tape and Dual Lock on the inside ends of the corrugated plastic – going the 1 inch direction. then peel back backing off of the double sided VHB tape and place the paper clip on top with the wire sticking up. Next, when you fold in half the corrugated plastic, the wire that projects upward, will slide in between the plastic mushrooms in the Dual Lock. I selected Dual Lock because when the paper rests on it, it holds the paper flat. And then the wire pushes through the paper to create the dot without bending the paper.

Remember to use the scissors to round off all the corners of the dot maker so that there are no sharp edges that could scratch someone.

Now you’re ready to create dots in the lower left-hand corner of all QR codes. However, you need to remember that making the dots require the ”dot maker”, to be held with the Dual Lock side up. When you squeeze the dot maker on a piece of paper or a business card, you can hear it making the little punch. I’ve also created a specialized jig using a 2.5”x4” tape Cassette box and Dual Lock on the inside with the paperclip mounted on the cover of the cassette box. The business card goes inside the cassette box and the lid push down causing the dot

to push in the correct place on the back of the QR code on the business card. This is great when you you need to quickly put dots on 250 business cards. Creating a dot making jig with the old tape cassette boxes is perfect because the dots will always be in the correct place on business cards. The challenge is lining up the paper clip dot maker, perfectly inside the cassette box and raising the dual Lock so that it is flush with the top of the inside of the cassette box. I discovered that if I put three layers of half-inch strips of Dual Lock on the inside of the box, works great to achieve this goal. I first take two 4” x 1/2” strips and snap the mushrooms together. next, peel the self-adhesive backings off of both side and stick it inside the box. The third strip I peel and stick – adhesive to adhesive on the exposed strip, so that now I have three layer Of Dual Lock inside the box. The downside to this is that Dual Lock is very expensive. It cost approximately $.50 for 1 inch. A cassette boxes is approximately 4 inches Therefore 12 inches of Dual Lock, three layers deep, is needed for making a business card, QR code Doc making jig. Remember the Dual Lock is used to keep the business card from bending and provides a receptacle for the paperclip wire to slide in between the plastic mushrooms on the Dual Lock. The cost for making this type of jig would be approximately $7 versus The simple Doc maker with Corrugated Plastic that cost approximately a dollar to make.


Want to learn more?

Attend the QR Codes – Creating Instant Access to Amazing Resources and Information on the Web Workshop coming up on March 24, 2020!