For engraving, 100% speed and 55% (600dpi), 65% (400dpi) or 75% power (300dpi) – Epilog Manual.

For cutting, use 5000 ppi frequency. Remove the top layer of paper.


 Material  35W Cut  Notes  Clear 1/16" (0.062")  100% power, 20% speed  A clean cut on paperbacked acrylic, higher speed may be OK  Clear 1/8" (0.125")  100% power, 12% speed  From the Epilog Manual  Clear 1/4" (0.25")  100% power, 4% speed  From the Epilog Manual

Anodized Aluminum

 35W etch  45W etch  Notes  300 DPI 100% power, 100% speed 90% power, 100% speed From the Epilog Manual  400 DPI 90% power, 100% speed 80% power, 100% speed From the Epilog Manual  600 DPI 80% power, 100% speed 70% power, 100% speed From the Epilog Manual

Moleskine's (pocket notebooks)

Moleskine covers contain PVC, and should not be engraved on a laser cutter - they contain harmful toxins that can damage you & the laser!


Anodized iPods (Mini, Nano 2G and Shuffle 2G) use standard Anodized Aluminum settings.
Other iPods with stainless steel backs should be etched with Cermark spray (Get more info under Supplies.)

Leatherman Multitool

For anodized Multitools, use standard Anodized Aluminum settings.

Cell phones

For phones that are metallized (such as this Motorola RAZR) use standard Anodized Aluminum settings.

[Need to do larger phone survey of models! Please add data!]


Please help add more!!

Aluminum/Metal Apple PowerBook/MacBooks

The most popular device to etch! 100% speed and 100% power on 35W laser.

Black 'Cermark' etching on Aluminum/Metal Apple PowerBook/MacBooks

Speed and Power level test for Cermark spray on brushed aluminum:
On a 45w Epilog Helix a setting of 100% power and 15% speed achieved the darkest and most uniform black using Cermark spray on the prushed aluminum side panel from a G5 tower.


Powerbook 12" , 15" , 17" (AI - Illustrator files @ Instructables & tutorial - Thanks Saul!)

Plastic MacBook (Black)

Some banding appears from the plastic case molding process. 100% speeed 50% power on a 35W laser has worked out for us so far. (30% is much too low.)

Plastic Apple iBook and white MacBook

So far, these cannot be (easily) etched or marked because the case is made of polycarbonate which turns yellow and chars when laser cut or etched! We've attempted some low power and multi-pass etching, it's promising but so far the demand is pretty low.

It might be worth trying masking tape [My sales rep recommended it for solving those kinds of problems, but I don't have an iBook/MacBook on which to test the theory. Bill]

Sadly the wavelength from CO2 Lasers make it really difficult and almost impossible to engrave on polycarbonate. The only solution (so far) to engrave this material is to use a YAG/Fiber laser. A great example of this technology used on a white MacBook is on the following link to the Epilog's website.

Toshiba Tecra 9000

With metallic (aluminum?) cover. Marked with CerMark spray.

External Hard Drive

7% power, 46% speed (75 Watt helix) works wonders on a Seagate Goflex hard drive.

Titanium metal etching/marking

Having just completed testing of both bare etching and Cermark marking, I was rather surprised with the results. It appears that titanium will mark under just the power of the laser alone, and the color will vary according to the amount of energy utilized (in this case as a factor of power * speed). Here is an image of etching titanium bare, and with Cermark:

Glossy Tile Etching

After giving this a shot, I found that a speed of 92 and a power of 80 works pretty dang well (I used a 75 watt helix so your milage may vary). Home made coasters!

Lima Beans

Using a 35W Epilog mini, 60% power 100% speed. The beans should be placed in some sort of soft holding bed both to even them out as well as to stop the air assist from moving them. We used lentils and eventually made a jig with cardstock to mass produce the beans.

This guide was first published on Feb 16, 2013. It was last updated on Feb 16, 2013.

This page (Settings) was last updated on Feb 14, 2013.

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