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  • Is the "Brick" a Brick of Aluminum?


    According to 9to5mac the rumored Apple "Brick" is just that. A brick. Well a brick of aluminum carved out into a pretty Macbook via a new Apple manufacturing process.

    The rumor goes that instead of outsourcing Macbook production to China and Taiwan Apple will be starting up their own sophisticated manufacturing proess to carve Macbooks our of a solid peice of aluminum using lasers and high pressure jets of water.

    Using this method is superior to the methods used to created Apple computers now and has some advantages.
    • 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 arenít 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.

    The new Macbooks still seem to be on track for October 14th so if you're on the edge of your seat waiting for one you only have a eight more days to go!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Is the "Brick" a Brick of Aluminum? started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. kennyleeme's Avatar
      kennyleeme -
      great news!
    1. maly00's Avatar
      maly00 -
      How did you know I am sitting on the edge of my seat This is amazing technology, a big step forward. Can't wait to see this. I hope it will come out on 14th.
    1. WillyDavidK's Avatar
      WillyDavidK -
      Hm, I'm wondering if this would create a servicing nightmare. Sounds like Apple will be using a lot more tabs and adhesive to hold their laptops together :-/ If anyone has ever replaced an iPod battery, you know why this is concerning.

      Anxious to see how this will all turn out.
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      how can this process lower the prices??

      a block of aluminum the size of a macbook is worth like 1000$
    1. bahgger's Avatar
      bahgger -
      Quote Originally Posted by qgshadow View Post
      how can this process lower the prices??

      a block of aluminum the size of a macbook is worth like 1000$
      http://in.reuters.com/article/busine...35100720080820

      Approximately $3000 a tonne does not equate to $1000 per macbook.

      But I must say, I would much prefer Apple go about with an extruded aluminium process so that you get the structural integrity of a block through a shell, and obvious encapsulation of the electronics by slapping on some side panels on after. That sounds like a far cheaper process than machining of an aluminium block, taking into account waste and energy costs.

      Regardless of what I think, I'm sure Apple's "Brick" isn't as straight forward as has been suggested. This is nice marketing fluff that makes the technical bits easier to digest.
    1. vngsinha's Avatar
      vngsinha -
      Yay! Now apple is making it almost completely impossible to replace RAM or hard drives! I can't wait!
    1. LordBrian's Avatar
      LordBrian -
      Rubbish, milling from a block of HE30 (Aluminium) would cost so much it would make this product cost 10 times what it cost now.

      Please even dye casting is expensive but really - milling - NO WAY
    1. jiniej's Avatar
      jiniej -
      Yay! Now apple is making it almost completely impossible to replace RAM or hard drives! I can't wait!
      I'm sure they'll still have easy access to the RAM and harddrives.
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      Quote Originally Posted by bahgger View Post
      NALCO cuts aluminium prices by $91/tonne | Business News | Reuters

      Approximately $3000 a tonne does not equate to $1000 per macbook.

      But I must say, I would much prefer Apple go about with an extruded aluminium process so that you get the structural integrity of a block through a shell, and obvious encapsulation of the electronics by slapping on some side panels on after. That sounds like a far cheaper process than machining of an aluminium block, taking into account waste and energy costs.

      Regardless of what I think, I'm sure Apple's "Brick" isn't as straight forward as has been suggested. This is nice marketing fluff that makes the technical bits easier to digest.
      yeah ur website doesnt work but im pretty sure aluminum cost wayy wayy wayy more than 3000$ a ton . maybe 3000$ a ton is really cheap aluminum not even completely processed
    1. bahgger's Avatar
      bahgger -
      Your source being?

      Even after processing aluminium to enable it to be cast as a block for further machining, you won't expect it to cost $1000 per MacBook. Put simply, your numbers don't make economical sense, and if Apple are doing what this article says, then they are doing it so that they can maintain their 50 odd percent profit margin on goods such as the iPod.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      We are also making the assumption here (when speaking of expenses) that the portion of aluminum removed is essentially flushed down the toilet. I am sure these portions are recycled and some money is recouped. Hell they may have the facilities to just reprocess the metal.
    1. unlockme's Avatar
      unlockme -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      We are also making the assumption here (when speaking of expenses) that the portion of aluminum removed is essentially flushed down the toilet. I am sure these portions are recycled and some money is recouped. Hell they may have the facilities to just reprocess the metal.
      +1. otherwise waaaay too expensive.
    1. ultimatexpka's Avatar
      ultimatexpka -
      lol phailed spelling
    1. LordBrian's Avatar
      LordBrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      We are also making the assumption here (when speaking of expenses) that the portion of aluminum removed is essentially flushed down the toilet. I am sure these portions are recycled and some money is recouped. Hell they may have the facilities to just reprocess the metal.
      It's not the cost of the waste aluminium but the cost of milling which is very expensive. Although the cost to reclaim and re-smelt the aluminium would also add to the cost.
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Which is why I'm thinking that the aluminium blocks would be just a little larger than macbook size, keeping wastage to an absolute minimum, saving money (I guess)
    1. groundedsst's Avatar
      groundedsst -
      Quote Originally Posted by cash7c3 View Post


      According to 9to5mac the rumored Apple "Brick" is just that. A brick. Well a brick of aluminum carved out into a pretty Macbook via a new Apple manufacturing process.

      The rumor goes that instead of outsourcing Macbook production to China and Taiwan Apple will be starting up their own sophisticated manufacturing proess to carve Macbooks our of a solid peice of aluminum using lasers and high pressure jets of water.

      Using this method is superior to the methods used to created Apple computers now and has some advantages.
      • 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 arenít 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.

      The new Macbooks still seem to be on track for October 14th so if you're on the edge of your seat waiting for one you only have a eight more days to go!
      I did a company tour about 3 years ago and watched a company manufacture aluminum laptop bodies for the military out of 7075 alum. There is a ton of waste but it is recouped.They use a machine that takes the scrap and compresses it to remove the cutting fluids and such from it and it makes a puck. This puck can then be recycled and it brings a pretty penny in this form.

      I can say I don't think this is going to be economical in the long term but who am I to say... im only a engineer.