Laser engraving bricks are a straightforward method for creating long-lasting memorial pieces, ornamental paths and walkways, and much more. With the right tool for engraving bricks and a few simple best practices, you can create beautiful pieces that stand the test of time.
The Brick Engraving Process: Best Practices
Working out how to engrave bricks might seem like an intimidating task, but it's actually easier than you might think. You can check out OMTech's start-to-finish guide on laser engraving to learn the basics of engraving for any material.
Of course, there are some tips you should keep in mind for specific materials and different types of engraving. These best practices will help you achieve detailed images and permanent marks on clay bricks, concrete pavers, and other similar materials.
1. Begin by Cleaning off the Brick
Cleaning off the brick or other materials that are going to be used is the first step to ensuring accurate and precise engraving. Bricks, concrete, and stone will all accumulate dust layers over time that could disrupt the laser engraving process.
Simply rinsing the brick surface with water and scrubbing with a coarse brush is enough to remove dust and debris. Unless your material has been stained with some specific contaminant, there's no need for any cleaning agents.
Various types of contaminants and debris on the surface can interfere with the engraving process and cause other issues. Materials and residue may burn during the process, leaving behind visible marks on the engraved brick.
2. Ensure You're Using at Least a 60 Watt Laser Engraver
Choosing the right equipment and settings is essential to get the results you expect when laser engraving bricks. Brick and concrete are harder materials that require more power than when working with softer materials like wood.
In general, a 60-watt laser is the recommended minimum. We’d even recommend getting a laser machine 100w and above if you’re going to be engraving bricks on a regular basis. It's best to work with a machine that can deliver more power, as you can always reduce the settings to achieve the results you're looking for.
If you're not sure about the power setting to achieve the results you desire, you can always try a sample brick first. Using a sample piece to gauge results is always recommended when trying new materials or designs.
3. Use an Engraving Machine With a Large Bed if You're Working on Multiple Bricks
Laser engraving bricks can serve a variety of different applications, which may call for any number of bricks. If you're going to be working with many bricks, whether for a large design or many individual pieces, you should find a laser engraver with a large bed.
Having a larger bed lets your laser engraver handle multiple bricks at the same time. It also provides the option to work with a wider range of brick sizes. This solution works for creating one large design over multiple bricks or achieving several engravings at the same time.
The versatility of working with a large bed on your laser engraver can make laser engraving bricks much more efficient than traditional methods. You can accomplish large-scale projects and grow your DIY hobby or home business.
Common Applications for Laser Engravers
Brick engraving equipment provides significant versatility in the designs you can achieve and the materials you can work with. Clay bricks and composite materials like concrete are suitable for brick engraving tools, which opens the door to many potential applications.
Laser engraving in general is already incredibly versatile, with so many potential projects possible. Brick as a material is excellent for long-lasting outdoor pieces. Brick is resistant to wear, moisture, and even acid rain. Many types of brick carry a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer — they're just that dependable.
Custom Donor Walkways, Paths, and Walls
Organizations of all kinds can take advantage of laser engraving bricks to support their fundraising efforts. Donors can make a donation to have their name and potentially a short message engraved on brick pavers, which are then implanted into walkways, paths, or walls.
The permanence of these types of brick fundraisers provides a significant appeal to donors. Having their contribution preserved in this way can really draw in further donations. Laser engraved bricks are incredibly long-lasting, which is why many companies that offer this service provide lifetime guarantees.
Many different types of organizations take advantage of these benefits. Laser engraving bricks are often used by hospitals, schools, universities, parks, nursing homes, and other organizations, with areas to feature donor walkways, paths, and walls prominently.
Memorial Bricks and Fundraising Bricks
Alongside projects involving multiple bricks, there are also many applications that make use of individual bricks. Memorial bricks are among the most common examples and are widely used memorial options for many different cases.
Pet memorials often make use of laser engraving bricks thanks to their relatively low costs. Traditional memorial methods can be prohibitively expensive for a family remembering their pet. Laser engraving bricks provide a lasting memorial that can feature the name of the pet, a personalized message, and even images.
Other applications of memorial bricks include additional memorials for people in places that were important to them in life. A small reminder of the connection between a person and their favorite fishing spot, park bench, or other outdoor locations can stir up happy memories with every visit.
Fundraisers using individual bricks rather than incorporating them into a path or wall are also frequently used. In many cases, these will use larger bricks or even concrete or stone and will generally require larger individual donations.
The Best Tools for Laser Engraving Bricks
Sticking to established best practices can deliver excellent results for laser engraved bricks. Whether you're working on a personal project or striking out in a new direction for your home business, you also need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job.
OMTech offers a wide range of innovative laser engravers suitable for etching many different materials. We have solutions for both at-home craft hobbyists and businesses that require larger work beds and higher engraving speeds. You can browse our collections today to find the laser engraver you need for precise, accurate, and stunning laser engraved bricks.