Anyone making "data matrix" labels?
Apparently the "data matrix" 2d barcodes are preferred because of their smaller size for labelling small electronic parts. The same format is used for "Direct Product Marking", where a laser etches the 2d barcode onto a part.
I'm looking for a labeller that can do this standalone and which can print small labels. It would be good for labeling small mysensors nodes that may not have much of a print area on them.
Or, in my case, I sometimes solder small SMT parts onto small, generic breakout PCB's to do a proof of concept circuit. Then, months or years later, I can't remember what the parts are on each of the boards. It would be great to have a little 2d label on it with that kind of information.
Anyone already doing this? Not sure which labeler to get.
@neverdie It appears that all the labelers that are able to print a "Data Matrix" barcode require the barcode to be created on a PC and then downloaded to the labeler.
I guess another criteria to consider is DPI. The higher the DPI, then, in principle, the smaller the Data Matrix barcode can be.
Then, because the goal is to keep the label small, it needs to be printed on a 1/4" wide tape, which seems to be the narrowest of all the tapes. Reportedly, some of the labels that can print 2D barcodes won't do it on a 1/4" wide tape. Go figure. Probably 300 dpi and/or 600 dpi should be possible, but not all labelers can print at that resolution.
Lastly to consider is the quality of the tape itself. From what I gather, the laminated tapes will last longer and hold up better than some of the cheaper tapes. As you might guess, not all of the labelers will print with that kind of tape.
Adding up all these constraints, it may be a $200+ labeler.... just to do something that I initially thought would be fairly easy. For comparison, a labeler than can do electrical cable and wiring labels costs just $29.
Maybe I should try attaching RFID/NFC chips instead? e.g.
Alas, they are too large.
Why not use a desktop laser printer and print on stickers ?
@nca78 Good idea. Sice a laserprinter has even better dpi, maybe the barcode could be made even smaller.
I like the rfid/nfc idea. More information can be stored. How small can the rfid chips be?
@mfalkvidd Not just the NFC chips, but their billowy antennas also add to their size.
I wouldn't be surprised if a certain fully functioning nRF51 module has a smaller footprint:
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