View Full Version : Lasering a new Dell Laptop

Terry Swift
05-09-2010, 2:07 AM
I am doing a job for a customer who wants their daughters brand new black 15" Dell laptop to be be lasered. I tested the design on some scrap wood and it did great. I put the laptop in, set my focus, and configured my print settings to 10 power / 70 speed and 300ppi. When I sent the print to the laser, it started the job okay, but did not produce a laser light like you see on wood and it did nothing to the laptop.

Need help as this is a last minute request to have it done today (Sunday) for their daughters birthday / graduation gift. Design in not real complicated, so not sure why it won't engrave on the plastic Dell uses on its laptop nowadays.

Andrea Weissenseel
05-09-2010, 5:49 AM
I'm not sure if it makes too much sense to test a design, that's suppose to be engraved on plastic, on wood ;)

Check at the epilog sample club, maybe you find some setting for material like yours is http://www.epiloglaser.com/sample_club.htm they have a couple iphones and notebooks there


Dan Hintz
05-09-2010, 9:49 AM

You simply cannot make a comparison between engraving on wood and engraving on an unknown plastic.

Your power also looks way too low...

Scott Shepherd
05-09-2010, 12:19 PM
I agree with Dan, 10% power isn't enough to mark blue painters tape.

Dave Marshall
05-09-2010, 12:52 PM
with my 60watt ULS, the settings I use for a Dell laptop are 40%P 100%S 500ppi. with your 30watt laser... adjust accordingly

Terry Swift
05-09-2010, 1:25 PM
Thanks all. I was given those specs by one of my Universal guys. He said to start low and work your way up, so as not to do a burnthru; which I definitely don't want to do.

It's odd to that the laser is not even firing or it seems that way when working with the laptop. I'll try increasing the power to see if it starts the job.

Everyone is great in helping out. One day I'll be doing that as well.

Anthony Scira
05-09-2010, 2:39 PM
And just MAKE SURE you have the Vector Cutting disabled ! Don't ask how I know cause I ain't talking !

Kim Vellore
05-09-2010, 3:55 PM
And just MAKE SURE you have the Vector Cutting disabled ! Don't ask how I know cause I ain't talking !

hahahaha I have been there done that, I know how it feels.


Terry Swift
05-09-2010, 4:09 PM

Have tried again to laser this laptop and it just doesn't fire on it at all. I tried a different laptop - no fire. Tried other materials like wood and granite - no issues firing on those.

Why won't it laser on the plastic material on these laptops? Also strictly using raster and trying to keep power settings as low as possible so as not do a burn-thru.

I've read my manual, Googled lasering laptops & plastics and found that MacBooks seem like a piece of cake, but the videos don't give settings. Looked and read both Epilogs and Universals sites and they really didn't go into great detail either. No tech support on weekends makes this birthday present almost a wash, except I've asked them to return it tomorrow after I speak to Universal's Tech Support or you guys & gals have any more suggestions.

Thanks everyone...

Tom Bull
05-09-2010, 4:25 PM
A good idea is to test on the inside of something removable.

Anthony Scira
05-09-2010, 6:33 PM
I usually do like a 1/8 inch star in the corner you can make it smaller if you want. Just keep upping the power till you get the mark you want.

Dan Hintz
05-09-2010, 6:48 PM

You should be starting at closer to 100S/60P and working up...

Scott Shepherd
05-09-2010, 7:27 PM
I know this is a very obvious question and please forgive me for asking, but you did focus it on the top of the laptop, right? If you tested it on a piece of wood and never changed the focus, you could be way out of range of it doing anything.

I know you probably did, but I thought I'd try and cover all possible issues.

Gordon Kircher
05-10-2010, 10:11 AM
With it "firing on wood and granite", are you using the same settings?

Engraving the Nintindo DS, I use (on my 60Watt) Power 20/Speed 100. With the settings you are using, can you mark/engrave acryllic or plastic? How about masking tape?

I think your power is still a little low.... but this has already been said before...... Keep encreasing your power by 5 until something starts to develop, then keep going.


Terry Swift
05-10-2010, 10:52 AM

Thanks for more info. I did not change the focus from the initial laptop I'm trying to engrave to the test wood I used just to see if the laser produced a cutting beam. On the laptop - no beam at all and I went up to about 45 power / 100 speed. Used same on wood and the beam was just fine, albeit a little out of focus, but my intent was to check that the laser was firing properly - which it did. I put a piece a wide masking tape on the area I wanted to laser on the laptop and got same result as with bare laptop - no firing of the laser. That's when I put in a piece of granite, refocused to it, and lasered it just fine per the settings in my manual. I'll be giving Universal Tech Support a call post haste and see what they say.

Thanks again for all the helpful tips.

Dan Hintz
05-10-2010, 11:50 AM
I see no reason to call tech support. You say the laser fires well enough to burn wood and granite, so plastic should not be a problem. It still sounds like a focus and/or power issue... difficult to say about focus as I couldn't quite grasp what you were saying about changing/not changing focus between the wood and the laptop. 100S/45P would probably be my starting point for power, not my ending point.

Rodne Gold
05-10-2010, 12:01 PM
Are you sure the laptop is not in some way interfering with a safety interlock causing the laser to move but not fire?
You have closed the door when lasering?