Laser-Engraved MacBook Pro

I met Ben Katz of–home to engraved iPods, engraved MacBooks, and other awesome custom electronics–at a recent LA tech meetup. He handed me an awesome all-metal business card, and we struck up a quick conversation.

Ben offered me a nice deal on an etching for my MacBook Pro. I thought about for a few days and realized that the only art I’d want on my machine would be the work of Heisuke Kitazawa, A.K.A. “PCP” (which has nothing to do with the drug by the same name), an emerging contemporary Japanese artist. I have a copy of his painting “i’ll always make time to write/2005” hanging in my living room. (This same painting also adorns at least one chic hotel room.)

I went through PCP’s illustration file and tested a few images in B&W on the engraving template. His “everyday is sunday, baby” print really resonated with me, and seemed like it would look great on the MacBook Pro. I reached out to PCP who offered to give me permission to engrave and send me the B&W line art if I bought the print.

So I did! The B&W line art looked great, and with a couple of minor changes I was able to line it up on the template perfectly. A quick call to Ben got me a 6:00 appointment at Etchstar, where Bill and Denny prepped the file in CorelDraw and sent it to the laser.

I expected to be more anxious about handing over a $2,800 computer to folks wielding a Class IV laser, but the team exuded competency and confidence and I had no reservations whatsoever. The process took about 40 minutes, but, boy, am I thrilled with how it all turned out. Check it out!

2017-02-13T13:09:19+00:00 October 29th, 2008|4 Comments


  1. Karina Etchstar October 30, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Looks AMAZING! Glad you love it… I’ll totally re-blog your post on the if you don’t mind.

  2. Susanna Park April 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Stumbled upon your website and just wanted to let you know that our design firm, POKETO will hold an event with PCP next Friday, April 24th at our studio. PCP will be performing works from his collaborations with Marc Bianchi of Her Space Holiday. An official art show/party will proceed the evening with PCP showing original pieces. Both artists will be in attendance for signings.

    For more information, please visit:

    Hope to see you there!


  3. Kirby Benedict September 10, 2009 at 9:45 am

    OK: so this gets done on the MacBook without taking the guts out, and the computer still works fine afterwards? It’s been almost a year. Does it STILL work fine?

    Thinking of having this done, but scared to death of, as you aptly almost put it, putting an expensive chunk of hardware on a bench to be selectively burned.


  4. Chris Gagne September 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Hi Kirby, yes, absolutely. The engraving barely scratches the surface of the aluminum. I still recommend Etchstar, now Coveroo:

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