iPad FAQs and General Questions
These frequently asked questions are written for iPads, but they apply to most of our services.
Our standard turnaround time for items ordered from our site is five days. If you ship your personal iPad, laptop, or phone to us we will try to have it on its way back as soon as possible since we understand it's hard to give it up. Rush service for website orders is available, choose the option for 1-day turnaround. For orders with more than 25 iPads/items please ask us.
We are focused on being a laser engraving and cutting service provider and therefore try to limit the amount of inventory kept in stock. We are more than happy to purchase items or materials specifically for your order and have contacts with suppliers that help us expedite the process. Alternatively, you can send in the item you would like to have engraved. We do stock several types of iPad cases, some stainless and aluminum sports water bottles, and some raw materials such as wood, acrylic and paper. If we need to order items to complete your order a note will be displayed during checkout letting you know. This generally adds 4 or 5 days to our turnaround time.
We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. If you are local we can accept drop offs by appointment.
Our Founder and CEO is deaf and prefers that we try to stay email-focused in all our communication. Rest assured we are delighted to chat online or answer any questions you have by email (or text message on request).
You ship us the device. We offer free standard return shipping for US orders over $25. Our turnaround time on orders is 5 days but for personal iPads, laptops and phones we will try to get them back to you ASAP. If you would like expedited shipping we have daily FedEx Express pickups and would be happy to add the cost to your invoice.
Yes - the fine folks at Appogee, an official Apple reseller just down the road from us in North Carolina, have been great at handling iPad orders. You can give them a call at 877-277-6433 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let them know you want your iPads sent to us for engraving and they'll help you through the ordering process.
Educational pricing is available to academically qualified faculty, staff, and departments. Please contact us to receive our price list.
If you already have your iPad you can ship it to us and we will engrave it and send it back. We can not order iPads from Apple and ship them internationally but you can order from Appogee, an official Apple reseller, and they can have them sent to us. Then we can do the engraving work and send the iPad(s) on to you. You will be responsible for duty and taxes. You can give Appogee a call at 877-277-6433 or send an email to email@example.com. Let them know you want your iPads sent to us for engraving and they'll help you through the ordering process. We use FedEx for shipping international orders.
We will review your artwork when you send it to us and let you know if anything needs to be changed to have the engraving come out looking the best it can. For large orders we will create a mock-up proof that shows the placement of your design relative to your iPad (or other item). You must approve this proof before we can do your engraving. Electronic proofs are available for small orders for $10.
The etching is only on the surface and only cosmetic. It does not affect the electronics or operation of the device in any way. We do not need to turn your device on or otherwise do anything to your data. We recommend having a backup before you send the device to us.
There is some dithering ability. On aluminum we are seeing about 4 distinct shades of white/gray (2-bit color). 1 bit images or line art are the most predictable, but we can offer guidance on ensuring your image is appropriate for engraving. Photos engrave quite well after applying an image manipulation algorithm.
Maybe. Let us know what type of iPad you would like and we will try to purchase it from the local store. Unfortunately we have not had a lot of luck with this lately as the local store is always out of stock. We do require pre-payment for your iPad. We will send you an invoice reflecting the total and you may pay it online.
What about the art area? How big is the exact artwork area? Do you have any Illustrator (or other format) templates so I can know where the Apple logo is exactly, and how close to the edges the etching can get?
The back of the iPad measures 9.56" x 7.47". Bleeding over the edge in possible as is fading towards the edge. We have templates available for you to use at Thingiverse or drop us an email if you need a specific format. Alternatively, you can send vector artwork and a placement/location mockup using this iPad bitmap.
We recommend not etching the plastic antenna area or the Apple logo (Apple doesn't like this). The plastic does not show any contrast when engraved so you wouldn't be able to see the image engraved into it. If your design goes into the antenna area we can apply a mask to prevent the laser from marking the plastic.
It's your responsibility to find out whether the engraving will effect your warranty. We have heard that Apple Geniuses decide case-by-case and some have considered the engraving purely cosmetic and thus not affecting the warranty. Here's one example.
iPad are our most consistent and predictable item to engrave. Unless your logo is highly complex or has a lot of shading we should be able to show you how it will look in an electronic proof.
If you are unhappy with the results and it was our fault (mis-placement, or other reason that it did not conform to your drawing specification) we will refund the cost of the engraving and shipping. If you are extremely unhappy with the engraving result and feel that it is our fault, then contact us and we'll see if we can work something out. If you just want to get rid of the engraving then a company called Mission Repair offers a iPad back cover replacement that would give you a fresh clean back.
Custom Smart Covers
Probably. Certain colors of covers require specific types of artwork.
iPad Smart Covers are only customized using laser engraving. The process melts, burns, or removes the outer layer of material of the cover. The appearance depends on the color and material of the cover itself. The process is not printing and no color is added.
Artwork for polyurethane Smart Covers must be only pure black and white (1-bit) and should be in a vector format or at least 300 dpi (6oo dpi is preferable).
Artwork for leather Smart Covers is more flexible and can contain shading or photos. Any part of the artwork that is not black is dithered to a half-tone pattern. Clear, high contrast photos produce the best results. All artwork must be at least 300 dpi for the size engraved or a vector format.
We purchase iPad Smart Covers directly from Apple and cannot offer any discounts on the cost of the covers themselves. On large orders we do offer a discount off the engraving service. Please send us your artwork to request a quote.
Yes. The microfiber material used on the inside of the smart cover laser engraves very nicely. The appearance of the engraving is a darker hue than the original color.
We are putting together pages to show real examples of each color iPad Smart Cover. If you have any questions please contact us before ordering.
Due to the nature of the material of the Smart Covers and other factors beyond our control it is very difficult to accurately portray the final appearance of the engraving.
We provide electronic proofs to allow you to check the size and positioning of your artwork on the cover. It is not intended to be an accurate reflection of color, texture or detail level of the engraving.
Yes, this is not a problem unless you are attempting to do a very deep engraving. Deep engravings (popular on blue, green, and pink poly covers) cannot go over the seam or holes will develop in the cover material.
Unfortunately we are unable to accept returns or offer refunds on custom products. If you have any questions about the product please ask before ordering. If you are ordering a large number of covers we very strongly recommend ordering a single cover as a sample to examine in person.