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How to Engrave a Photo on an iPad or iPhone

Posted September 18, 2016 12:00 AM by Epilog Laser

You just got a new tablet and you want to make it your own. Sure, a couple lines of laser engraved text or your initials are nice, but does it really capture the awesomeness that is you, your organization, or your brand? Lasers allow you to personalize and/or brand your favorite devices with the touch of a button.

The anodized aluminum on many electronic/mobile devices lends itself well to the laser marking process. This can be done without damaging internal components of the device. The laser moves at such a high speed and low power configuration that just the surface is etched, leaving the inside of your gadget safe and sound. Just make sure to turn it off before you pop it in the laser!

Here are the basic steps for adding a photo to your favorite device (we’re using an iPad Air):

1. Choose a photo. Hi-res images engrave the best and should be inverted before engraving. Besides that, there’s really not a lot of processing involved.

2. Scan in your device so you can preview how the photo or graphic will fit. Depending on the device, you’ll want to adjust your artwork to make sure not to engrave over any logos and or camera lenses. If you’re interested in etching an iPad Air, Epilog has a template for that!

3. Send the photo to the laser. Epilog has a red dot pointer feature that allows you to get a visual indicator of where your graphics will engrave – we recommend using this and running the job with the lid open just to make sure the picture goes where you want it to (the laser won’t fire when the lid’s open). Adjust the settings as desired – start with high speed and low power, say, 100% speed and 30% power.

4. Send the job to the laser and watch it go!

Besides the obvious “cool factor,” individuals and organizations alike are using lasers to mark electronics and other valuables for other reasons, like deterring theft, identification, and branding.

Want to see the process start to finish? Check out the video below.


Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored blog post provided by Epilog Laser.

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Join Date: Jan 2007
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#1

Re: How to Engrave a Photo on an iPad or iPhone

09/22/2016 1:38 PM

It looks cool, but I have to admit I would be very nervous about getting the alignment correct so I didn't accidently etch a camera lens or have the laser go in a speaker hole.

Considering it is black and white and possibly inverse, I also think I would probably want to try the picture on a scrap anodized surface or some equivalent first. The examples look good but I could see the image not turning out how I expected.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 14
#4
In reply to #1

Re: How to Engrave a Photo on an iPad or iPhone

09/22/2016 4:02 PM

That's an excellent point, Frank! We always recommend testing artwork and materials. Though the anodized aluminum of the Apple products has been very consistent, not everyone will be engraving the same graphics on the same materials. Epilog systems do feature a red dot pointer that gives a visual indication of where the laser will fire. We often draw a vector box around a design and run only the vector portion with the laser lid open and red dot pointer on. The pointer tells you exactly where your artwork will appear, and users can adjust their layout accordingly.

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Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Troy, NY
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#2

Re: How to Engrave a Photo on an iPad or iPhone

09/22/2016 3:44 PM

Is it engraving the apple logo or just skipping over it?

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 14
#3
In reply to #2

Re: How to Engrave a Photo on an iPad or iPhone

09/22/2016 3:56 PM

It skips over the logo portion. If you take a look at the template you'll see that area is "blanked out". Since there's no raster image over the logo, the machine won't engrave there. The template can be found and downloaded here: https://www.epiloglaser.com/resources/sample-club/ipad-air-engraving.htm

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