Can brick be engraved / marked?

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#1

Hi gang.
I’ve searched the forums a lot but can’t find any mention of brick so far.

I saw a post talking about What type of stone can be engraved? and one about Is Masonite Laser Compatible? and Can it engrave quartz crystal? . So I thought we’re in the same neighborhood.

A buddy of mine has some old bricks that he thinks would make a nice looking sidewalk; he wants to mark or engrave the bricks with names, pictures, and historic dates for his family. Something like this

I’ve viewed numerous other videos and posts, but they’re all focused on other products that dont really give technical specs that are comparable. The closest hint I’ve found is to go super slow on max power - and that was a 60W laser.

Will the Glowforge Pro model (a 45W CO2 laser) have enough power to engrave brick or just mark it?

Thanks!


#2

The problem might be that you are limited to less than 2" high, which I think is thinner than just about all the bricks out there. You could make a mask and sandblast them, though.


#3

A quick thought would be that you need the bricks to fit in the glowforge if you want to be able to even try and laser them. The glowforge specs page says the max height is 2". I thought I’d seen 1.5", but not sure if that is a newer or older number (or one I made up in my head). I don’t have one to measure now, but I’d guess most bricks are taller than 2".


#4

Have vintage and new brick. Nominally 2-1/4" to 2-5/16". Doesn’t fit.


#5

Great points. I didnt even think about the height!

Thanks everyone.


#6

But most tile, stone, etc should engrave in the Pro, or even Basic, provided it fits in the machine. I’ve got a sample piece of marble counter that I am waiting to throw in my production unit when I receive it. I’m hoping to collect more samples from different sources.


#7

I’ve been experimenting with river rock from my backyard. Some engrave nicely, others stand up to multiple passes art high power worn little visible effect. I’ll post some photos after the snow melts and I can find the rejects.


#8

Curious. The bad rejects can always be cermarked.

I was planning to play with river rock, too, and glass stones.


#9

I’ve got a set I’ll be posting a Dispatch on Sunday. Mine came from Hobby Lobby though :slightly_smiling_face:


#10

Bricks can be cut down with a saw if anyone is ambitious enough to make a few of their own brick veneer pieces to fit into the glowforge.


#11

No need to cut. It’s already a thing you can buy at your local Home Depot… (there are many variants of “thin brick flats”. They are all around $1.50/per in boxes of 50…


#12

Okay Doc…you found 'em, we need to see some testing. :wink:


#13

The fundamental problem is while I am happy to lase anything as you know, I don’t know what I’d do with the other 49 bricks in the box…


#14

My polished HL stones engrave nicely, and slate is a dream – it’s random river rock that’s been iffy.


#15


:laughing:


#16

And thus my point, a saw is a million times more useful than a box of brick flats. :slight_smile:


#17

If they work, you laser one up for colleagues and friends. :relaxed:
(Look, I ate omelettes every single day for 2 weeks to get enough shells to blow to test those out as a material, so I understand suffering for your art. It’s what we must do as testers though…) ROFL! :smile:


#18

What is this “snow” that you speak of? (99 degrees this weekend in Tucson) :sunglasses:


#19

I know that it is a strange Swahili word (for those in Tucson), but pictures could explain that term…

And at least 3" have melted away (I live on the West side of Fort Collins)


#20

Look it was over 90 yesterday here in boston, but on my way to work I drive by a snow pile still…

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/05/17/large-snow-mound-clings-winter-summery-weather-moves/ZrFGL97uX29Zxx4krfrL7L/story.html