May 27, 2024
The Apple Brick Finally Explained

The Apple Brick Finally Explained

Posted October 4, 2008 at 10:34pm by iClarified
The Brick is the beginning of new totally revolutionary Apple manufacturing process to make MacBooks, according to 9to5 Mac. "A game changer. One of the biggest Apple innovations in a decade."

The MacBook manufacturing process up to this point has been outsourced to Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers like Foxconn. Now Apple is in charge. The company has spent the last few years building an entirely new manufacturing process that uses lasers (w/o sharks) and jets of water to carve the MacBooks out of a brick of aluminum.

(Yes, this sounded a bit crazy to us as well. But our source is adamant so bear with us. He says Apple has built a manufacturing process that would make Henry Ford proud.)

This isn't entirely new. Steve Jobs has always had a fondness for having his own plant to produce computers. In 1990, he built a totally automated plant in Fremont California (thanks PED) that could build NEXT machines with only 100 workers. It was a "plant with just about everything: lasers, robots, speed, and remarkably few defects." Unfortunately, the demand wasn't very high at the time. However, Jobs remarked, "I'm as proud of the factory as I am of the computer."

9to5 Mac speculates that the process will have the following benefits:
- Carving out of aluminum eliminates the need to bend the metal and create weak spots or microfolds and rifts.
- There are no seams in the final product, so it is smooth.
- Screws aren’t needed to tie the products together.
- The shell is one piece of metal so it is super light, super strong and super cheap.
- You can be a whole lot more creative with the design if you don't have to machine it.

This process should allow Apple to make quicker design changes and lower MacBook prices in the future.

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The Apple Brick Finally Explained
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Comments (6)
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gmckay - October 6, 2008 at 3:01pm your account then it is equally as 'cheap' to dump a bamboo laminated PC in the ocean... If the laminate on the biodegradable unit were to actually degrade (which is extremely negligible), then you still have a PC being dumped into the ocean. The benefit of aluminum is that even if you chuck it out..the recyclers will salvage it.
Ramses - October 6, 2008 at 12:24pm
it should be biodegradable not just recyclable to be eco friendly, i doubt if more than 10% will get ever recycled it is still cheaper to dump these macs into ocean
gmckay - October 5, 2008 at 4:43pm
Ramses.... News flash.. Aluminum can be RECYCLED.
Ramses - October 5, 2008 at 1:22pm
this is again very eco unfriendly, they should use only bamboo like Dell recently tried in one of their PC
vush - October 5, 2008 at 8:40am
Nano - October 5, 2008 at 3:39am
Water jets are used to cut carbon fiber or fiberglass panels, laser is used to cut thin layers of metal or for engraving metalic parts. I do not think that the case is cut out of a solid piece of aluminum using the lasers and water and you do not mill aluminum to that kind of thickness for a computer case it makes no sense and would have prohibitive costs. In my opinion they are using water jets and/or lasers to cut out the holes and laser to engrave logos etc on the case. A clever design could make for a screwless case, nothing to do with one piece case or whatever. For me the case is pressed like all other cases just the cutting, engraving are different.
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