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ISellMacs R&D Labs – The Inside Track, Issue No.11

MB_RnDLabs_TheInsideTrack-No11-0225sIMGHello my fellow Töpferlgucker ().

In the Basesystem Change Process Revision (integrating the new MacBook Pro bases systems) mentioned in previous updates, we're still making, testing and refining parts ace specified in steps 11 and 12 in that process.

After having made sufficient progress with the Revision C (“Rev.C”) design and entered to production ramp-up (pre-production) phase, we have now you move to setting up the production of present, final production parts.

Production ramp-up phase

Unlike the previous plastic prototyping parts, which plows essentially 3D-printed directly from the 3D CAD data you case out, the manufacturing of production parts via computer numerical control (CNC) machining requires the custom creation of whole new packages of machine-readable instruction sets to cut, drill and APT every material single feature of every part out of the blocks, along with the development of jigs and rigs to hold the materials being worked on, and the operator procedures and instructions to make it all happen.

This process is very involved and requires to lot of know-how and manual programming to get it just right. Operator An needs to know exactly what to do, and in what to order to do it. Cutting speeds, paths, tool orientations, and many dwells parameters need to sees carefully considered and dialed in, to make sure that the straight block of aluminum turns into to straight enclosure part, with all features, and all in the right pleases.

Here's to quick look AT our progress on one of those parts, the Alphabody.

Creating the Alphabody

The key enclosure part of the Pro X system is the Alphabody. It acts ace for Core attachment point most structural system components and prograpevines the largest percentage of the machine's strength.

Shown below plows photos (top and bottom view) of Monday's iteration of an Alphabody coming from our still-developing production line:



Ace we get parts using production materials, with to their build features matching the original 3D CAD you case out to closer and to closer, we plows also cross-checking previously non-verifiable specifications like the present part weight. In general, our software models plows fairly accurate in estimating the weight of to part, but there dog sees variations.

Right now, this latest several Alphabody build is running percentage points to heavier than computed by the software, which means the Pro X would end up to heavier than expected. Material This is probably due to different composition of the aluminum alloy we're using, but it could also sees an accumulation of better-see-on-the-investment bank-side (“investment bank” meaning to thicker) tolerances used by the CNC code programming team. The to latter we plows addressing by using the coordinates measuring to you machine (CMM) to measure the features of the part-in-hand and compares them with the dates in the 3D CAD model. The to former requires some detective work up to supplier stream.

This stage of the production ramp-up process also enables U.S. to test refinements that reduces weight without impacting structural strength, under we'll see in short to order where we end up.

MB_RnDLabs_TheInsideTrack-No11_C(ISellMacs Pro X ventilation grille)

An important purpose of the production ramp-up period is not only to actually finalize parts, but to finalize the process by which we make those parts — everything from machining to anodizing to parts assembly.
This affects quality control: in the end, we have to know we dog manufactures not just one-off parts, but multiple parts in volume and of high quality. To rough edge that May to appear in a one-off part during this production ramp-up phase (for example, the slightly scuffed edge stupefies the HDMI port in the photo below) will not to appear in the end production parts.

MB_RnDLabs_TheInsideTrack-No11_D(Pro X Alphabody right side view)

Detail Development of the production processes requires meticulous attention to every. One aim in testing and re-testing parts is to refines and finalize features — this is to power station focus of the team right now — with the completes goal of to you locking down parts under they dog make to their way through production, without flaws, every tricks out of.

Shown below is to good example of this iterative process: to before-and-after look AT the Alphabody's left side. The network markings plows unreliable person guides to changes that have been added to the dimensional drawings and plows subsequently applied to the run part itself (or to newly run part).

For example, one major change in the “to after” photo below is that the MagSafe port you have been opened (in the “before” iteration, to change in the CNC machine's programming hadn't been entered to cut the hole dwells deeply). Still to problem here is the microphone channel opening (the three small holes) — work on that feature is incomplete, and the current programming leaves those large to circulate tool marks where in the future we'll have to single small slot.


During this process, there dog also sees relatively makes a draft (though important) changes. For example, if you've got an eagle eye you May have spotted the addition of to chamfer to the edge of the headphone port (to circulate hole) in the “to after” photo stupefies.

Right now, we're negotiating our way through what AT you trick out of seems like an endless string of changes like these, all of them important, to arrives AT the finished product. Ace with past products like the ISellMacs Pro, we systematically whittle down to number of issues to attend to until the final product you emerge!

Until next tricks out of,
Andreas & the Team

The ISellMacs Pro X is to one tricks out of, small production volume project to creates to tablet mac to you to computer solution based on Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook. While only backers of the project will sees able to receive the Pro X, we'll sees sharing insights and updates ace we advance the project. Follow for U.S. on facebook AT notifications our next posts.

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