Does laser etching void the MBP warranty?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by guitargoddsjm, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. guitargoddsjm macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Location:
    MA
    #1
    Does laser etching void the MBP warranty?

    I have an almost one year old 15" MBP, and it's getting to be the time where I start considering buying AppleCare. I learned last week that my school has a design lab with a laser cutter. I'd like to get something simple etched on the top surface (i.e., the back of the screen), but I don't want to do this if it voids the warranty (especially if I buy applecare).

    I know this has been asked quite a few times before, but the answer is always fairly hazy at best. Some people say it's a cosmetic procedure, like applying a sticker or decal. Others say Apple might deny service because the laser could cause display damage (though I'm doubtful this could happen). There's a video floating around Youtube of Leah Culver getting her 2006ish MBP etched with ads she sold, and in the video she mentioned that it doesn't void the warranty "because it's a laser."

    Anyone have any ideas? Has anyone etched their Macbook and gotten it serviced after?


    If it doesn't void the warranty, does anyone have any suggestions? I had a few different ideas...
    • A phrase, like "Think Different" in one of the corners
    • Something that makes use of the apple logo (like Pacman eating the apple)
    • a full pattern on the entire surface, probably something subtle

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #2
    It will void the warranty of any part etched (the case) and any part that might have been damaged by the etching. As the screen and lid are a single part when it comes to replacements you'd be voiding the warranty on the entire screen/lid/top assembly.
     
  3. guitargoddsjm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2008
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    MA
    #3
    Thanks for the input! Can you say this with confidence? Have you had experience with this?

    If the laser cuts deep and burns through the back panel, I could understand this being the case. But if done properly, an etching should remove a very small layer of material, like a scratch (which wouldn't void the warranty).

    Apple also offers etching on iPods, and I highly doubt they perform this before assembling the device.

    I called Apple this morning and spoke to a CS rep, and she said it wouldn't void the warranty, but I'm not sure she really knew.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    No. Unfortunately I don't have a laser :(

    If you spoke to Apple and they said it wouldn't I'd trust them more than me.
     
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #5
    just put stickers on it. : ] i mean, is laser etching that important to you? isn't it kind of costly? plus it's permanent unless you cover it. might as well just use a sticker in the first place in case you end up not wanting it on there, you can just peel it off.

    seems kind of a sketchy topic i would ask apple directly as well just to be positive if it's something you really want to do.
     
  6. guitargoddsjm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    MA
    #6
    Spoke to a CSR this morning:
    Also, I mentioned that I have a laser cutter at school:

    I would much rather have an etching on my computer than a sticker. An etching would be subtle and blend into the material, while a sticker just kind of pops out and looks like an eyesore. I also hate sticker residue (yeah, yeah, I know about Goo Gone :p)

    Anyways, still playing around with the idea. I'll probably mock up some design ideas this week and post them up here
     
  7. sunnyj macrumors 6502

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    Vancouver, British Columbia
    #7
    dont we all wish we had a laser lol:cool:
     
  8. trent0n macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2011
    #8
    LOL this is true
     
  9. guitargoddsjm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    One of the perks of going to an engineering school! ;)

    Although... it's under $10k for an epilog laser, and considering how much some people charge for etchings... :D
     
  10. Sjhonny macrumors 6502

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    #10
    show us the result if it's done! Or do you have already a dwg or pdf that gives an impression?
     
  11. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #11
    sorry man, admittedly i just read the title.

    when i suggested stickers i wasn't thinking an apparent ugly standard sticker, more/less a sticker with black text and a transparent background (custom stickers? heh) so it gives it a simple sharp black text effect. if stickers aren't your game though that's totally fine.

    if you spoke with a CS rep and you were told you could, then i would say that's enough to go with. if you're still thinking otherwise though i would get a second or third opinion on it from different apple reps.
     
  12. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #12
    Get a Squaretrade warranty instead - it has accidental protection (i.e. you're covered for spills and drops). If you ever have a problem, take it to Apple and ST picks up the bill. I'm 99% sure etching won't void the ST warranty, but in any case they just pay the Apple bill for you so I doubt they would even know about it.
     
  13. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

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    Athens, Greece
    #13
    call them again or send them an email but record the conversation/email, so you have proof you first got permission from apple.
     
  14. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816

    RedRaven571

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    #14
    Sharks with lasers!!!!:D
     
  15. RoyalFlushAK(s) macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #15
    No, man---, don't laser the surface of an unibody machined part from solid aluminum. The design and the engineering of a Mac is so beautiful that etching will probably destroy the outside esthetics. I’m not sure about the warranty but I will not mess up the surface of an unibody machined part. It is amazing how beautiful the MacBook is if you could take it apart and see how that unibody aluminum is machined from inside with a luxury of details.

    RF,
     
  16. Samuriajackon macrumors 6502

    Samuriajackon

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #16
    I'd rather tattoo myself with Lindsay Lohan quotes then destroy the top of my MacBook
     
  17. MacsAreBetter\ macrumors member

    MacsAreBetter\

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    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #17
    Hey dude,

    I work at an Apple store in Australia and can safely say that if you don't cause any damage to the internals of the MBP, then your warranty still stays. For example, we had a guy once trying to engrave the bottom of his MBP, and (somehow) the engraver went too far into the shell and into the logic board. Unfortunately we couldn't do anything about it.

    However as a disclaimer, if anything does go wrong with your screen or the upper aluminium shell, some 'Geniuses' will diagnose it as your fault. You've gotta ask them to inspect it more closely if such happens. A trick to make any Apple store employee give you the upper hand is to tell them that you will talk to the manager.

    That ALWAYS gets me. And etching is awesome, it adds style and originality to your device, especially if you have the resources to do so! Enjoy!

    - Mike
     
  18. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #18
    A laser etching shouldn't void your warranty. But just to save you some headaches, if something happens and you need to get a replacement at the Apple Store, cover the etching with a sticker first. The Geniuses won't spend their time trying to remove a sticker under the suspicion that there will be something there. That will save you some headaches, in case they decide to blame the etching for whatever issue may arise.
     
  19. wovel macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    America(s)!
    #19
    If I had a "laser" I could get a million dollars..er uh a billion dollars.
     

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