Uni-Body Design

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Chaos123x, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Does anybody think the way they make the Unibody design is a bit excessive?

    I mean carving a block of metal with robot controlled drills and Laser etechers :eek:

    Sounds far out.

    Can't they just melt the metal into a mold?

    Can they cold press the metal like how they stamp out soda cans and coins?

    Just never seen metal has element you really had to carve.

    Why would melting in a mold not work?

    Why would stamping it out with super heavy duty press not work?

    How would you do it? and what other ways could you get the same effect?
  2. TJunkers macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    According to Steve, the Unibody is more sturdy and can be cut thinner, therefore lighter. Without it the Mac Book Air wouldn't exist. But it does seem excessive, but I guess I can see why.
  3. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    but could they not make a Unibody using easier methods and still get the same strength and thinness?
  4. TJunkers macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Don't know. According to Apple it's the only way to make it without it being weak and/or brittle.
  5. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    A casting (making a body of out molten metal) would likely be too heavy or need to be too thick. That would add size. Also with castings you generally need to polish them or grind them down to remove imperfections and achieve uniformity.

    There are some computers made of castings, but they are generally very small handhelds made from magnesium for the military and other specialized uses.
  6. hengyu408 macrumors member

    May 18, 2006
    san Jose, CA
    If you melt the metal and pour it into a mold it would make the structure weak and brittle. You would then still need to make the internal frame from a separate piece of metal.

    They could stamp the metal but then it would be heavy and bulky.

    The reason they did CNC was because they could integrate the internal frame into the metal without it being heavy and weak.
  7. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Why would melting make is weak and brittle?

    I thought the Aluminum was melted in a block in the first place.
  8. bektravels macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    I reckon they prolly researched a few options and crazy drills and lasers seemed to be the way to go... so, they probably don't see it as excessive.
  9. pw1388 macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2007
    all the metal they shave off goes back to the fire to be melted again to make the next macbook.
  10. Nykwil macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2002
    Boston, MA
    i would assume the carbon footprint of maintaining a vat of liquid aluminium is more than that of just some fricken lasers and drills and water being used for cnc.

    carving out from a single block would be more sturdy than molding it from a cast...so much can go wrong in the cooling process alone...not to mention cooling it too fast = weaker frame. From a manufacturing standpoint wouldnt it be easier to carve out sheet of blocks then to wait for each unit to cool down properly?

    I think in the end, it's better to just melt a log of aluminium into sheet blocks let that cool and carve it out and recycle the waste and repeat.
  11. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Remember, Apple has a new special going on that if you give them 1,000 aluminum cans, they will make you a Macbook out of it and you only have to pay $500!
  12. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yeah, though it's melted into very large ingots wich helps it to stay stable and cool slower making it stronger. Mind you, apple could melt ruff forms of the laptops and then machine them into shape, only less. But thing is, since the laptops are so thin, it's not worth it. There's a minimal thickness at wich you can cast aluminium into something solid and stable and the slabs they use are pobably as thick as what they would get from something casted, so I guess it becomes cheaper to buy mass produced slabs and use a machine to hack out super large chunks out of it in minimal time (as presented in the keynote).
  13. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    casting would not able to meet the tolerances required.

    Cold stamping or extrusion can not male parts with different cross sections without a secondary process.

    CNC maching that apple is using really is a cheap technology that have been used in other industries for years.

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