Custom made parts

MacBoyWannabe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2016
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Is there anywhere that I can have custom make MacBook parts out of carbon fiber? I don't want just a skin, I want actual parts, I want to fully replace the aluminum body and lid on my MacBook with carbon fiber parts
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
I'm pretty sure that the aluminum is part of the design to help dissipate heat. I think replacing it with carbon fiber would act as a heat insulator instead, and cause problems or at the very least, higher fan speeds:

"Aluminum is a fantastic conductor of heat. This enables apple's MacBooks to be thinner than plastic variants could ever comfortably be (and if they were, the air coming out would be searing hot, and the plastic would be too thin). The aluminum acts as a heat sink, dissipating heat to the environment, allowing fans to run cooler and quieter."​

I don't think there is such a product, and even if there was, it would have to be a different shape to allow more space inside and more vents for cooling.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,528
2,301
Delaware
I suppose you can find anything, if you show enough money. :D
What's your budget on that carbon fibre?

Also, if you want to give up on the aluminum, now you have to re-engineer the cooling system - which takes advantage of the heat-sink qualities of the aluminum.

(ActionableMango said it first :D )
 

MacBoyWannabe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2016
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I suppose you can find anything, if you show enough money. :D
What's your budget on that carbon fibre?

Also, if you want to give up on the aluminum, now you have to re-engineer the cooling system - which takes advantage of the heat-sink qualities of the aluminum.

(ActionableMango said it first :D )
In my opinion the heat dissipitating properties don't work too well. At least on mine anyway. It gets pretty hot, and the thermal vents in the hinge are badly placed. As for a price, I know it wouldn't be the cheapest, I've thought of just drilling holes beneath the fan to allow better intake but unless I used a very fine bit and had some screening to apply over the holes to keep things out it'd be a bad idea. I have neither a drill nor the screen
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,528
2,301
Delaware
The aluminum dissipates heat, so it will get warm, even hot. What other result could there be when internal heat is in contact with a good heat conductor? Heat means it is conducting heat out, away from the heat-producing parts. That's something that aluminum is pretty good at doing.
Carbon fiber, by contrast, is a generally a poor conductor, although I read that carbon fiber can be alloyed with graphite or other material to do well with heat conduction. And, if it conducts heat, it will also be warm (even hot)

Drilling extra holes in the aluminum, although it seems like a good idea (better air flow?), but the reality is, that you then have aluminum - with holes, so less aluminum. Aluminum conducts heat better than air. So, unless you add extra air (more fans or faster spin) the cooling would likely be less effective with extra holes, because you have less material (aluminum) in the conducting path.
 

MacBoyWannabe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2016
8
0
The aluminum dissipates heat, so it will get warm, even hot. What other result could there be when internal heat is in contact with a good heat conductor? Heat means it is conducting heat out, away from the heat-producing parts. That's something that aluminum is pretty good at doing.
Carbon fiber, by contrast, is a generally a poor conductor, although I read that carbon fiber can be alloyed with graphite or other material to do well with heat conduction. And, if it conducts heat, it will also be warm (even hot)

Drilling extra holes in the aluminum, although it seems like a good idea (better air flow?), but the reality is, that you then have aluminum - with holes, so less aluminum. Aluminum conducts heat better than air. So, unless you add extra air (more fans or faster spin) the cooling would likely be less effective with extra holes, because you have less material (aluminum) in the conducting path.
More spin on the fan is something I currently do, I use MacsFancontrol when it gets too unbearably hot (which is more frequent than I'd like) but it only has a bit of effect because of the lack of airflow in the body
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
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Land of Smiles
Is there anywhere that I can have custom make MacBook parts out of carbon fiber? I don't want just a skin, I want actual parts, I want to fully replace the aluminum body and lid on my MacBook with carbon fiber parts
Outside of finding someone with the capabilities of actually manufacturing the case.

I doubt it would be possible to accurately replicate the shell simply as one is a machined part allowing much finer/more acute curves and angles. So some compromises to aesthetics is likely IMO

The complexity of attachment of parts (eg logic board) on to the carbon shell. Mounting design of parts on to a carbon body will simply be a different design opposed to a CNC alloy body both for fastener types but also rigidity constraints of components etc

Whilst thermal management for the lower case is a bit of a red herring IMO (for non fanless designs) as it's likely that the Alloy Uni body heat dissipation is only a secondary consideration and probably adds no more than 10-15% to thermal management as usually with fan cooled laptops the bigger concern is to avoid heat transfer to the case bottom and finally on to the users legs for example

Generally controlling heat management via the case would is inefficient, hard to control and spots on the cover external would get hot enough to burn skin.

That's why CPU's etc are thermally controlled via bonded heat spreader with embedded copper heat pipes that bleed heat to a copper heat sink cooled by a fan.

With fan less designs like the rMB there is a copper plate on the bottom of the shell. How much of this is for cooling or to simply avoid hot spots for the user I do not know. A carbon fibre shell is more likely to interfere with heat management in this instance but may appear cooler to the touch.
 
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bopajuice

Suspended
Mar 22, 2016
1,571
4,310
Dark side of the moon
Kind of reminds me of a gold plated bike I saw once. Everything done in 24k gold. Must have cost a fortune, but with time the parts started to show their age as new and better parts emerged. Eventually the owner had a gold plated, outdated bike that no one wanted and he couldn't sell.
 

MacBoyWannabe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2016
8
0
Outside of finding someone with the capabilities of actually manufacturing the case.

I doubt it would be possible to accurately replicate the shell simply as one is a machined part allowing much finer/more acute curves and angles. So some compromises to aesthetics is likely IMO

The complexity of attachment of parts (eg logic board) on to the carbon shell. Mounting design of parts on to a carbon body will simply be a different design opposed to a CNC alloy body both for fastener types but also rigidity constraints of components etc

Whilst thermal management for the lower case is a bit of a red herring IMO (for non fanless designs) as it's likely that the Alloy Uni body heat dissipation is only a secondary consideration and probably adds no more than 10-15% to thermal management as usually with fan cooled laptops the bigger concern is to avoid heat transfer to the case bottom and finally on to the users legs for example

Generally controlling heat management via the case would is inefficient, hard to control and spots on the cover external would get hot enough to burn skin.

That's why CPU's etc are thermally controlled via bonded heat spreader with embedded copper heat pipes that bleed heat to a copper heat sink cooled by a fan.

With fan less designs like the rMB there is a copper plate on the bottom of the shell. How much of this is for cooling or to simply avoid hot spots for the user I do not know. A carbon fibre shell is more likely to interfere with heat management in this instance but may appear cooler to the touch.
Just buy an X1 Carbon
Mine has a fan, but unless it's put in full time high spin then it essentially has little to no effect on cooling. When it does have any effect, it's noticeable as I can actually bear to sit it on my lap, or on lazy nights in bed on my chest. As for getting an X11 carbon, no. I'm not going to settle for an equally expensive piece of machinery just because I can't have a carbon fiber MacBook
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
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Mine has a fan, but unless it's put in full time high spin then it essentially has little to no effect on cooling. When it does have any effect, it's noticeable as I can actually bear to sit it on my lap, or on lazy nights in bed on my chest. As for getting an X11 carbon, no. I'm not going to settle for an equally expensive piece of machinery just because I can't have a carbon fiber MacBook
That's the point I made too you :rolleyes: the Ali case is not primary for heat dissipation for fan designed laptops else it would be too hot to bear otherwise. So your Carbon case would have a lessor impact than some may think but still likely to make fans kick in a little sooner IMO
 

Mason Dulemba

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2016
83
15
United states
You might be better of with a skin because having a non metal body will cause issues because it's not grounded enough, as it relies on the grounding points that touch the conducive aluminum frame
 

Stefan johansson

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2017
1,294
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Sweden
Well,if you got enough money,a manufacturer of carbon fibre car parts could maybe help,I know that koenigsegg made actual bodies for a small number of dell latitude computers about 8-10 years ago.
 

danniexi

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2012
340
246
best thing you can do is buy the exact same MacBook that you have, take it apart, 3D scan the unibody and make a plastic replica. then take that 3D plastic copy to a shop that can apply the carbon fiber + resin to make it a CFRP body.
 

MacBoyWannabe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2016
8
0
Thanks for all your responses! I'll definitely have a to think about the 3D printing idea, where I'll be able to get or use a 3 printer big enough to print parts that large I'm not sure, but it's worth a thought!
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,315
972
Thermal issues can be solved,either with liquid cooling or extra fans.
Liquid cooling in a MacBook? Just adds double the size of the whole body and a complete reengineering of the attachments, brackets, screws...
With an additional fan you have the same issue. There is just no room for that
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Thanks for all your responses! I'll definitely have a to think about the 3D printing idea, where I'll be able to get or use a 3 printer big enough to print parts that large I'm not sure, but it's worth a thought!
apart from heat you also have to think about the support for screws and so on with special inlays in the carbon fiber.

If you can't do it by yourself it will be very expensive. I estimate upwards $ 10000 if you find a company having knowledge in 3D scanning and the tools to produce CF parts.

Just 3D printing the shell will probably not work because it's to thin and will bend or break. After that you have to grind it to make it smooth. The printed finish even with good printers is still rough.
Beside of that. A 3D Print in that size costs you a couple of hundred dollars.

What's your budget?
 
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