When Glowforge first started its marketing efforts one of the demonstrations that seemed to really attract attention was engraving an iPad or iPhone. (Technically speaking the laser “marks” these devices as it has insufficient power to actually remove anything but the anodization.)
Part of the fascination is no doubt due to the conflicting desire for the ultimate personalization of a very personal device and the “OMG it’s a thousand dollar piece of electronic hardware!”.
Intellectually it’s easy to understand that the 40W CO2 laser can’t really harm the metal case much less cut through it and destroy the magical interior components. But emotionally, OMG!
I’m an Android guy so no iPhone or iPad (although I do laser engrave the occasional iPhone or iPad the company will get for an employee whose position allows them to say no to the company standard Android devices). Instead I have a GPD Pocket. This is a 7" Windows 10 laptop PC. With specs slightly better and a price a bit more than a Microsoft Surface 3, it takes some amount of faith to drop it under a laser beam.
The case is an aluminum magnesium alloy. Having been an early Kickstarter backer of the Pocket (it’s now available from Amazon) I’ve been using it for daily carry & travel since June when it was delivered earlier than originally promised.
Now that it’s survived the “will I really use it or will I go back to my Surface” test I decided it was time to customize.
Grab a design from a decal I put on my daughter’s Aliens themed car, drop it into Corel, clean up the image and toss it to the GFUI.
24 minutes later all done. It really took less than 12 minutes to engrave but I ran two passes as I zeroed in on the settings that worked best. PM if you’re interested in the specifics as there are no PG laptops or laser settings.
Here’s the final result. Achieving this finish does not require two passes by the way, a single pass using the final settings I used would create the same result.
So Virginia, yes you can engrave (mark) your phone or tablet - aluminum bodied ones anyway.