MacBook Pro engraving -- What NOT to do

One of the first things I planned to do with my Glowforge when I got it nearly two years ago was to engrave my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, however, the pattern I purchased and tediously adapted for that purpose ended up being too big to load into the GFUI, so I used it for my iPad instead (although I chickened out and used veneer instead of engraving it directly).

When I discovered recently that, thanks to all the improvements since then, the larger file will now upload, I decided to FINALLY do my MBP.

My pattern didn’t have a cutout in the center for the Apple logo, because I wanted it to go right up to the logo, but the schematic I had downloaded for my model of MBP actually didn’t exactly match as far as size of the logo, so I had intended just to mask the logo with aluminum foil instead.

Turns out, that wasn’t actually the best idea. The foil stopped the laser from engraving on the logo, but I had neglected to consider an important detail: Lasers get HOT.

So my MBP looks really pretty now…

Until you look at the Apple logo itself…

Yeah, those dark places are actually burned right through the plastic. Ugh.

And on the other side, there’s sort of a permanent ray of sunlight splashing onto the middle of my screen.

Fortunately the pixels aren’t burned out or anything. Everything still shows, it’s just brighter in those spots.

So, the moral of the story is: Cut out the center of your design!


Oh wow, never would have thought it would cut through into the display itself! I’m so glad it’s still functional, at least. And it’s VERY pretty on the back…

I wonder how much a screen repair runs… :frowning:


Maybe we’ll find out…but not until after we finish paying for this move!

It really looks just like when a ray of sunlight hits the screen, which helps me to sort of ignore it after a while. But then my brain gets really confused when I look up and it’s dark outside!


It looks very pronounced in the picture… Glad it’s less intrusive in real life!

It’s really bright on light backgrounds, and hardly shows at all on dark ones. I showed it at its worst in the photo.

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Ouch! But it is beautiful :slight_smile: Amazing it didn’t short out a circuit board, there is a lot going on inside.

A lesson in engraving (marking) metal. If it’s not all metal you’ve got to watch out for the non-metal parts. All of our advice that the laser can’t hurt the metal is true but the Apple logo plastic is another thing entirely.

As you say, cut out the logo from your design so the laser doesn’t fire or mask it in a way that heat and laser won’t be an issue if you can’t get the layout precision you want. Something like a 1/8 wood cut out of the Apple topped with a piece of foil or thin metal. The foil stops the burn and the wood stops the heat.


I bought a replacement screen from amazon after my son threw a bone into screen, it was not rocket science to replace, a few torx screws and ribbon wire. the hardest part was releasing the torx that held the hinge place, so I attached the bit to my power drill and leaned on it and it released. maybe a 20 minute project at best? Also great youtube videos on it.


Ouch, engraving looks awesome, sucks to loose a good screen though.

I guess we now know why they haven’t added the magic settings for MacBook yet… :grimacing:

It’s in the list, actually. Those are the settings I used. :slight_smile:

Oh, it is. neat…maybe they need to add a warning:

Do not laser the apple icon