About

This is the blog full of updates of all the new and exciting things happening in the BrickEngraver family! We personalize LEGO(tm) parts incluing mini-figs, tiles, and bricks. From birthdays/weddings to AFOL Cons to MOCs to name badges to corporate promotions…if you have a design or an idea and we have the LEGO(tm) parts…the only limit is your imagination 🙂

Website: www.brickprinter.com

Twitter: BrickEngraver

 

Below is the story of how we got started 🙂

Years ago when I had a manual engraving machine and made door signs, traditional name badges, and
electrical box plates for a side business, my older son was into LEGO® kits. He
of course built himself a car. At the same time personalized license plates were
first coming along (“vanity plates”) and I thought he should have a vanity plate
for his awesome creation. So I tried engraving “Heyward” on a brick–and be darn
if it did not work. I then figured out how to fill them in, and it really looked
spiffy ( a 70’s word for very very nice). But on a manual machine, they were a
real pain and even though I thought it to be a great idea, I knew that there was
really no way to produce them economically, and the internet had not been
invented as a marketing mechanism. About 7 years ago, my younger son Peyton had
just graduated from UNC and was looking for a job. At this time we were doing
those little mini-license keyrings and made dog tags still on that same manual
engraving machine. We worked ham fests and flea markets and craft shows. I
convinced him that we could probably make a little money if we bought a “real”,
i.e. computerized machine while he went to technical school to get trained to
make a living. As we were setting up the machine, we had to move Heyward’s old
LEGO® collection to make room for our new workshop, and the old idea popped up
again. I took a few of his old bricks and tried out the idea on the new machine.
It was a frustrating experience but we finally worked out the process with a bit
of what I think is some innovative LEGO® engineering and persistence and I was
ready to try the internet to see if any interest out there.

Low and behold I discovered that for some reason no one
else–at least no one I could discover–had come up with that old idea. And I
discovered a  whole culture of creative really smart people previously unknown
to me. Matt Gerber, the coordinator of the first BricksWest® thought the idea of
engraving on the bricks was good and I said they would make great name badges
and keyrings. He jumped at the idea and envisioned a contest for badge
enhancement by the participants and they seemed to really take to it.

Peyton and I went to BricksWest® in San Diego to see what
the possibilities were. I was of course in hopes of being able to wow the LEGO
corporate guys  with my incredibly simple but brilliant idea and get permission
to set up a kiosk at LEGOLAND, move to California to make my fortune. (This idea
is too good and watch–I bet The LEGO Company will soon be offering them at
their spiffy theme parks and their company stores). –Update: they do just that
at some of their larger stores and LEGOLAND.

Well it was a success anyway as I got to go to the Tucson
Mineral Show, see Southern California, go to the zoo, and meet a bunch of
interesting people that like to play with LEGO® bricks. But in this context,
play is like Jordan “plays” basketball or Peyton Manning “plays” football, or
Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe “played” tennis.

I of course was becoming immersed in TLC (“The Lego
Community”) and learned of BrickFest. I contacted Christina and started doing
their badges. I must say it has been fun. And eight years later, although will
not consider it profitable (even though it did put my daughter through boarding
school and college 🙂 ), it still has great potential. I have sold items to
practically ever state in the Union and to over 25 countries.

I have high hopes for this new printer, which opens up all
kinds of additional items that could not previously be done with the engraving
machine. We can now print photos directly onto LEGO™ pieces as well as more
complicated designs.

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