How it’s made – Laser etching Powerbooks

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
How it’s made – Laser etching Powerbooks

Lasere2Last weekend we laser etched 3 more Powerbooks. We etched two 15″ Powerbooks and a 12″ – this time we etched a very cool bunny infused Tsunami, a NeXT logo as well as a subtle and elegant plum blossom. If you’ve wondered about the process, tools or just how laser etching looks – I put together some of the photos, links and files. Enjoy!Saul has a new Instructables up on the laser etching process, be sure to check that out too.

We’re using an Epilog laser mini for the cutting and Corel Draw as the design application.

We made a wooden border to better line up the various Powerbooks. The wood was also cut with the laser cutter.

Here’s the Powerbook placed in the laser bay.

Here’s the image we decided on in Corel Draw. We needed to extend the image out a bit to make it wrap around the Powerbook’s Apple logo. The laser cutter uses black and white images.

We made a little Apple logo to test where it might end up.
You can download the templates from Instructables.

The artwork is from Kozyndan. Blog. It’s much like the Japanese print you see a lot, but waves are actually little rabbits. Here is the original.

Gr 28 Cover
Title: Uprisings
Media:mixed media
What: We were honored to be asked to do the cover and be featured in issue 28 of Giant Robot Magazine. We only had a few days to take the piece from concept to completion, and still ended up being one of our best. It is an homage of sorts to Hokusai with our own furry twist.

We tested the image out on paper first.

Almost a perfect fit, need to adjust it by a few centimeters.

The logo left behind from the laser cut.

The Powerbook about to be etched.

The bright white line is the camera capturing the laser beam cutting in to the Powerbook.

10 minutes later, it is complete. From one angle the waves glow white, from another it’s dark.

Another view.

Paper and metal.

Another view.

Next up, an elegant plum blossom.

I really like it, it looks like it belongs.

Another victim, this time we’re trying out a NeXT logo. This is the largest amount of solid cutting we’ve tried on a Powerbook.

NeXT logo in Corel.


Another view!

The first four Powerbooks we etched.

See our previous post about the first one we did.

Another view.

46 thoughts on “How it’s made – Laser etching Powerbooks

  1. cheesy says:

    Does anyone know of places in the Los Angeles or Seattle areas that will do this? And how much $$$?

  2. jlel12 says:

    Can the same thing be done with a iPod?

  3. rcummings says:

    Anyone in Denver Co? I want one on my 15 PB.

  4. rcummings says:

    Anyone doing it in Denver Co? I want one on my 15 PB.

  5. rcummings says:

    Never mind…I am an idiot. Just found out where Epilog is.

  6. AlexFiennes says:

    Nice choice of print – If anyone is in the UK and is looking for a signed copy, then there are some available at Analogue Books in Edinburgh…

  7. UGCLaser says:

    We can do areas 5.5 inch square or smaller. We get UPS in daily, Cleveland, Ohio. Contact Marshall-

  8. poxod says:

    PB Laser etching is available in Manhattan.

  9. tecart says:

    Denver, CO Custom Laser Etching Avaliable
    contact Simon at
    I can Custom Laser Etch many items image area up to 18″ x 24″ product size 19″ x 30″ free quote.

  10. hawkster says:

    Does anyone do this laser etching in Houston? Thanks in advance.

  11. hawkster says:

    Found Joyce Engraving in Dallas, Tx (214) 638-1262 to laser etch Dell lap top. They did not use an Epilog laser. Would still like to find company in Houston.

  12. hawkster says:

    Found Joyce Engraving in Dallas, Tx (214) 638-1262 to laser etch Dell lap top. They did not use an Epilog laser. Would still like to find company in Houston.

  13. KBchamps8 says:

    I know of a company in Los Angeles that is starting out. They only do orders of about 75+ items. They do real nice work on iPods and Powerbooks and all kinds of material. I saw it in action and I am really impressed with what those machines can do and what they can work with. Let me know if you want more information about the one in LA.

  14. lemme says:

    i would like to know that company in LA? thanks

  15. netblade says:

    does anyone know where to find this nice template of the plum blossoms shown above?

  16. soggybag says:

    Can anyone point me to a laser etching service in the Bay Area?

  17. Anthony P says:

    I had just started a laser etching service in Milpitas, CA. Anyone interested in getting their laptop lasered. Check out
    for details

  18. Kelli says:

    Isn’t this actually engraving…I thought etching was a chemical process.

  19. Jason says:

    Anyone doing this in the NE Ohio area? Such as Canton, Akron, Cleveland?

  20. Mad Etcher says:

    I just started this company in Portland Or. If your looking to get etched contact me through my website.

  21. Kyle Walker says:

    How much does one laptop cost for an engraving?

  22. Kyle Walker says:

    How much does one laptop cost for an engraving?

  23. says:

    How it’s made – Laser etching Powerbooks | MAKE

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