Printing on the back of an iPad

I read the comments on the post @karaelena did on engraving aluminum, however I thought the GF was supposed to recognize common devices such as an iPad? Ii looks like testing was done and then manual setting of 45% / 225 IPM was used. I’d like to etch the whole back minus the lense, logo and text without having to PhotoShop a template first.


That is one of the pieces of software functionality that has not yet been implemented, so I’m afraid you are on your own.


Right on, thank you for your response.


I would be hesitant to try a manual engrave until the alignment issues are sorted out.


I second that, you might engrave your camera or something…

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Shouldn’t be horribly difficult to cut an outline in cardboard and then drop the iPad into the outline. Set your design up on 20x12 artboard in Inkscape/Illustrator with the engrave embedded in the SVG and the design will be placed correctly.

You can find Apple dimensional drawings here:


Spot on. Works a treat (as our UK folks say :slight_smile: ). That’s how I do electronics where I want good/perfect registration. Send the cut to the GF first and turn off the engrave and then turn off the cut and turn on the engrave after dropping the PC or phone into place in the cardboard.


I don’t know iPad design, but if the anodized aluminum goes all the way to all the edges, you could allow the engrave to bleed past the edges a bit. If you’re engraving a photo or something where alignment isn’t critical it probably wouldn’t be too noticable if it wasn’t perfextly centered or whatever.

Regarding the camera/flash, you can protect it with a mask and then just engrave right over the top of it. Off the top of my head, maybe some aluminum tape and a hole-punch could be used to create small laser-proof circles that could be stuck on the camera lens. Stack a few on top of each-other if you don’t trust them completely. You could substitute some aluminum foil and double-sided tape if you don’t have any aluminum tape already.

I’d guess you’d want to protect the Apple logo as well, that might be a little harder, but an equally-sized Apple apple cut from sufficiently thick acrylic or wood or most anything would protect it. You’d prolly want to stick it on with some double-sided tape as well to make sure it stays aligned and so the air blower doesn’t blow it off.

You could also tape a coin or something over the Apple logo to protect it. A coin would have the small advantage in that it won’t make any smoke/soot, which wood would.

If you use a potentially-reflective material for masking, make sure reflected light can’t reflect all up in your eyes/grill.

PS, if you haven’t done ankdized aluminum engraving yet, know that if the first engraving pass doesn’t engrave “enough”, you can run it again as long as you can keep the alignment (don’t move dat iPad until you inspect it). On this note, make sure your masking can survive a couple engraving passes.


I did a test run with cardboard and the design was off by about 1/4", my next go I’ll try to account for that. An accurate print sure would be nice based upon what the camera is showing you.

Anyway, I like your idea the best, just cover up the sections I want to protect! Thank you for that, I will giving it a go.


I etched our logo on the back of an iPad - using 300 IPS and 25% power. I am sure I could increase the power some and will experiment with it again tomorrow with a different iPad.


You didn’t mention LPI but the higher the better. I believe I did one pass at 225 and then a second at 450 which was much finer - no visible dots or striations, just a nice solid etching (marking).

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I just tried your settings and they worked beautifully. Thanks for the help!

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