PDA

View Full Version : Has anyone engraved the new iPhone 4?



Greg Bednar
08-31-2010, 10:26 AM
If so, what settings are some good settings to start with. Apple says the new 4 is

"...the breakthrough technology in iPhone 4 is situated between two glossy panels of aluminosilicate glass the same type of glass used in the windshields of helicopters and high-speed trains. Chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, the glass is ultradurable and more scratch resistant than ever........"

At first blush, it would seem you would use the wet yellow page technique as with regular glass. I've seen a few photos of them engraved with tattoos, but I don't have a handle on the settings. And I can't seem to find any "aluminosilicate" threads. Any help would be appreciated.

Ross Moshinsky
08-31-2010, 11:36 AM
Even though I consider my shop an engraving shop, there is no way I am interested in engraving laptops, phones, mp3 players, or basically anything of unknown material but high cost.

I'd tell the people to send it to Apple to have it done or find someone else. $50-75 to engrave a $600 item just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Greg Bednar
08-31-2010, 1:29 PM
I didn't look hard enough. I found what I needed to know. Sorry for the short post.

Ric Taylor
09-06-2010, 6:09 PM
What did you find out? I have the same question for my iPhone 4.

David Woodruff
09-06-2010, 7:39 PM
I am curious, why would you want to do it??

Greg Bednar
09-06-2010, 11:26 PM
The material is also known as "Gorilla Glass." Apple at this time is mum on the material and will neither confirm nor deny if Gorilla glass is used on their product, ( at least in my attempts at getting information.) Emails to the manufacturer of Gorilla glass have gone unanswered. The Internet is full of information on the stuff.

As far as why would you want to engrave the iPhone, - you engrave them because people want them engraved.

A place called Artifacture Studios ( Google it because I don't want to take a chance on getting spanked for a link to a commercial site ) has an example of one. The artwork is a little on the Grundge side; but very respectable work.

Gary and Jessica Houghton
09-10-2010, 10:15 AM
Yes, we did one. My husband and I joked about Apple having an anti-etch material on it. We thought plastic so we started at 100s/30p. Wow, were we wrong! We ended up etching several passes at 100s/ and landed at 60p. If I would have known it was glass, than I would have reversed the speed/power settings. This made us horribly nervous, but we had our customer/friend tell us if it messes up he'd just upgrade his wife's phone and give her this one. ;-) I am including the picture so you can see how it etched.

Greg Bednar
09-10-2010, 2:31 PM
It looks like the part of the circle marked up looks good - very clean and crisp. The other is not as crisp. Is this because of the photo, power/speed settings of your initial try or is it the nature of the composition of the glass on the iPhone? I ask because some areas look crisp and others do not. And thanks for taking the time and effort to upload and share your experience.http://www.sawmillcreek.org/picture.php?albumid=409&pictureid=3897

Greg Bednar
09-17-2010, 3:08 PM
This is my endeavor with the white iPhone 4. The customer wanted this particular Cloister font - so here it is. Comments welcome

Scott Shepherd
09-17-2010, 3:24 PM
Where did they get a white one? They haven't been released yet and they have had a bunch of set backs on releasing the white one's due to light escaping from the white case.

Greg Bednar
09-17-2010, 3:35 PM
Where did they get a white one? They haven't been released yet and they have had a bunch of set backs on releasing the white one's due to light escaping from the white case.

Most of the people I deal with are high end and get what they want. This particular iPhone 4 was engraved how the customer wanted it engraved, including no space between the lower case k the upper case B. How they get them, I don't know. But they are apparently out there because I engraved this one.

Frank Corker
09-17-2010, 5:43 PM
Nice job with the infill there too Greg.

Dee Gallo
09-17-2010, 7:17 PM
I love that typeface, looks great, especially in gold. So did you treat it like regular glass settings-wise? I must say it does take a leap of faith to do one of those devices for someone... mark one up for your courage!

cheers, dee

Tim Bateson
09-17-2010, 7:35 PM
I haven't done an iPhone, but I do have a very large order for the inside padding of a new (not yet released) iPhone Hard Case. A non-disclosure prevents me from saying much about it at this time, except this thing is nearly indestructible. The local manufacturer demoed it for me by throwing his phone across the room, then stepping on it (he's a big man).

BTW: I do not own an iPhone & I have no stake in this company.

Greg Bednar
09-18-2010, 4:03 PM
Thanks Dee & Frank,
Dee, I did not treat it like regular glass. I did remove the back of the iPhone. There are two small phillips head screws on the bottom of the phone. Unscrew those and set them aside. The back is scooted up towards the top about 1/8" and then simply lifted off. Replacement is the reverse. No problem there. I am always afraid of damage to the inside of any phone and the remote ( very remote ) possibility that something goofy will happen to the RF components. So in the case of the iPhone, I am happier with the removal of the back. Getting back to the treatment of the glass. I ran it at recommended settings for glass from the manual, but I did not coat the glass with liquid soap, or water, or the yellow pages. I ran the job through twice to get a little depth for the gold fill.

I explained to the customer,to think of that little chip on the windshield from a small stone. It might not look like much but if you press against it, it will throw a crack across the windshield. Some people like to carry these phones in their back pocket ( I guess it's cool or something ) and then they forget them there and sit on them. IMHO, I thought it if was dropped and you've introduced a flaw into the material, it would be more prone to cracking. A far cry from the wine glasses we lift to our lips. The white needed the fill because it is almost invisible since it is white glass. The customer wanted the font, so what the customer wants, the customer gets. The black back is far easier in terms of visibility.

I also had a hold harmless agreement signed so that reduced the pucker factor a little.

Tim, that is some nice demo there. I hear the iPhone folks are buying "bumpers" to help delay collision time in the event of a drop to the floor. I was curious if the case was a silicone/rubber type material. In any event, great score!

Frank - thanks for the Skype demo of color filling some time ago.

Hannu Rinne
09-18-2010, 6:20 PM
This is my endeavor with the white iPhone 4. The customer wanted this particular Cloister font - so here it is. Comments welcome

Looks really great to me ! ( and the phone itself beat the Nokia models :D )

Regards, Hannu

Sara Gould
10-02-2010, 9:02 AM
I posted about engraving my iPhone4 back here:
http://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=143266

Just used standard glass settings.

Tim Bateson
10-02-2010, 9:43 AM
...Tim, that is some nice demo there. I hear the iPhone folks are buying "bumpers" to help delay collision time in the event of a drop to the floor. I was curious if the case was a silicone/rubber type material. In any event, great score!...

It's some type of machined hard unbreakable polymer/plastic with a thin plastic screen. This completely encases the iPhone, but doesn't impede any of it's capabilities. I cut the padding for the inside as well as the labeling. I was also prepaired to cut the sharkskin rubber backing until I learned it contained PVC. They're now having the rubber cut by waterjet.

The company just received a contract from Front-Gate with the first 500 units to be delivered by mid-November. These should be in the next Front-Gate catalog. With an estimated 300-500 units a month.

I'll believe that when I see it.

The company is now working on marketing a version of these to the medical field and the military.

Greg Bednar
10-02-2010, 1:10 PM
Sara - I saw your photo at artifacture and exchanged some info with them about the white back on the iPhone 4, but somehow missed out on your site, sorry.- Great stuff.

Tim - I am inherently frugal and would opt for a thick rubber band around the perimeter of my phone with the appropriate cut outs for volume, etc.. My "New York City" wallet is an example of my frugality. I bought a huge bag of these "wallets" about eight years ago for $1.00. When it breaks I go to my "bag 'o wallets" and get a brand new wallet. It keeps my wad from slipping out of my pockets, is "pick pocket" resistant, etc., etc.. But the fat wallet types like the kind of stuff like the iPhone bumpers and if it sells, looks good, and puts food on the table, - that's great too!

Dee Gallo
10-02-2010, 2:07 PM
OMG, Greg! That is SO NYcity! My father always had a rubber band around his wrist in case he needed it - he used them for everything. Everything he owned had a rubber band on it. He preferred to use the free ones you get from the produce department when you buy veggies....

Thanks for the memory, dee

Greg Bednar
10-02-2010, 2:26 PM
Dee - you're welcome for the memories. Believe it or not, I tried the bands wrapped around the asparagus, but found them too small, the ones around he celery were too big, but the ones in my bag are just right. ( OMG - I think I'm channeling Goldilocks ) Kudos nonetheless to your father.

Gary and Jessica Houghton
10-05-2010, 9:41 AM
It looks like the part of the circle marked up looks good - very clean and crisp. The other is not as crisp. Is this because of the photo, power/speed settings of your initial try or is it the nature of the composition of the glass on the iPhone? I ask because some areas look crisp and others do not. And thanks for taking the time and effort to upload and share your experience.http://www.sawmillcreek.org/picture.php?albumid=409&pictureid=3897

We didn't research the product before we etched. We shot from the hip and it took several passes at high speed and low power to etch this. The customer was there watching the entire time and was very cool about the whole process. He ultimately was very pleased with the end result. I guess that's what really counts.

Greg Bednar
10-05-2010, 11:39 AM
Gary and Jessica -

I was reading on the net somewhere that the type of glass used on the backs of the iPhone is not consistent throughout and this was a concern of mine. I was trying to discern if it was a laser issue or an issue with the composition of the glass used. Although I ultimately filled with color on my job, it wasn't as big a concern. And yes, so long as the customer is happy, that's what matters. I'm a little OC ( I'm working on that ) so when some things catch my eye, I like to get answers to them in an attempt to preempt potential problems.

I did not use the wet yellow page on the back of the iPhone, perhaps that may make a difference, and anyone reading this please chime in, this is new territory for me, these glass backed phones. I don't know how Steve Job's crew crunched the numbers to arrive at a glass back, but hey, they're there and they're engravable - Thanks Steve.

Gary and Jessica Houghton
10-05-2010, 5:12 PM
Gary and Jessica -

I was reading on the net somewhere that the type of glass used on the backs of the iPhone is not consistent throughout and this was a concern of mine. I was trying to discern if it was a laser issue or an issue with the composition of the glass used. Although I ultimately filled with color on my job, it wasn't as big a concern. And yes, so long as the customer is happy, that's what matters. I'm a little OC ( I'm working on that ) so when some things catch my eye, I like to get answers to them in an attempt to preempt potential problems.

I did not use the wet yellow page on the back of the iPhone, perhaps that may make a difference, and anyone reading this please chime in, this is new territory for me, these glass backed phones. I don't know how Steve Job's crew crunched the numbers to arrive at a glass back, but hey, they're there and they're engravable - Thanks Steve.

They are inconsistent. We ended up taking each letter of the Texas seal and lasering one at a time. It was reading The S at of exas.
The E on State took 6 rounds at higher power each time. - Trust me when I say I know about OCD.

Joe De Medeiros
10-05-2010, 6:42 PM
I don't know how Steve Job's crew crunched the numbers to arrive at a glass back, but hey, they're there and they're engravable - Thanks Steve.

I remember him saying something about more scratch resistant. It's all about style with apple after all and Steve likes glass.

http://www.dhunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/apple-store-nyc.jpg

Giacomo Cheslaghi
10-29-2010, 7:28 PM
Hi everybody I'm new to this forum, I have been reading it a lot but this is my first message. I'm a 28 years old guy from Italy, Milano, and I'm setting up my small business with the Epilog Zing machine. Still don't know about the focus of my business, I'm starting with Ipods and laptop. I've been searching this site for any suggestions about how to infill plastic, then I saw the golden fill in the white Iphone that Greg did (Hi!) and I was wondering which kind of paint did he use and how he prepared the mask to lay the paint. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to introduce myself and say Hi to everybody.
PS. apologize if sometimes I do some mistakes with english.. :)

Greg Bednar
10-30-2010, 10:48 AM
<snip>which kind of paint did he use and how he prepared the mask to lay the paint. <snip>

Engrave at recommended glass settings. Color fill with gold rub & buff. No mask. Simple. - Oh yes, remove back from iPhone first and have hold harmless agreement signed.

Giacomo Cheslaghi
10-30-2010, 12:32 PM
thank you for your reply! one last thing, do you use anything after the rub & buff to make the color scratch resistant or do you leave it that way?

Greg Bednar
10-30-2010, 3:36 PM
Since the engraved font is indented and the the work is not being done in relief, I did not use anything over the fill. If anyone else on the forum has recommendations, I would be open to them.

Terry Swift
11-02-2010, 4:38 PM
I'd definitely have that Hold Harmless agreement; but even with that people would probably want to pursue something against you - the state of affairs these days.

I've done laptops, but like most - you start easy and work your way up.

I'm thinking of doing my black iPhone 3 to just give it a whirl. Taking off the back seems like an easy thing and if 16 year olds can make big dollars fixing them - then it shouldn't be that hard. I'd presume Googling it would provide some kind of instructions somewhere.

I've dropped my iPhone more times than I'd like and it still works - no case - nothing. It does jar the SIM Card and requires a reboot; but it keeps on ticking.

Sara Gould
11-02-2010, 4:47 PM
The black plastic iPhones (3G, 3GS) engrave to an off-white color (polycarbonate I'd guess). I've started with lower power and worked up and that made it a darker color than cutting through on the first pass... or else they aren't consistent, which could be true too.

A set of photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sajego/sets/72157625299089114

Sara