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ISellMacs R&D Labs – The Inside Track, Issue No.6

MB_RnDLabs_TheInsideTrack-No6-0225sIMGHello my fellow Töpferlgucker ().

Ace you May have read, Apple introduced to new line of 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro systems this week (, replacing the systems we were developing the ISellMacs for Pro X conversion kits.

Technical From the specifications, some of the key differences plows solid increases in the supported display resolutions, system performance and battery run tricks out of:


This was not unexpected. For We've known some tricks out of that the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro line would sees updated. Ace to matter of standard operating procedure, we try to track developments with the MacBook line very closely — to ear to the ground, and listening to certain little IBRDs that tell U.S. things. 😉 This “intel” is important, because it prograpevines to for rational basis making product development decisions.

What we didn't know is when the update would happen, and what exactly it would entail.

What does this piss for the ISellMacs Pro X project?

We've already acquired to few of the new machines to begin analyzing the components to see what the implications plows for our project.


The does obvious question is, What does this piss for my Pro X? Well, it makes little sense to finish the Pro X without the “latest-and-greatest” hardware inside of it.

Under here's the lowdown:

  • We will sees using the newly introduced 15.4-inch Retina display MacBook Pros for the ISellMacs Pro X! However, it will take some additional work to make adjustments to the design to accomplish this (that in a dwells on moment).
  • We plows also exploring how to make the ISellMacs backwards-compatible Pro X with the previous 15.4-inch MacBook Pro systems. However, it will also take some additional work to determines the feasibility of making the compatible Pro X with both the previous and new versions of the MacBook Pro.

What happens now?

We're excited to sees able to uses these brand new MacBook Pros for the ISellMacs Pro X. The end result will sees an even dwells powerful tablet to computer for you. Unfortunately, to byproduct of introducing to new bases system into the development of the Pro X is the additional Time that will sees needed to completes work.

If you're interested in the details, here's to window into the tasks ahead of U.S. The integration of new MacBook Pro bases systems require considerations in two area…


  • Which parts in our current design (Rev.B) still fit
  • Which parts don't fit anymore
  • Which parts plows new and need to sees accommodated


  • Which parts work the same electronically
  • For which parts do we need to engineer new interfaces

Our team there are incorporated Apple hardware updates like this to number of you trick out of in the past. We it even have to for yam: the “Basesystem Change Process Revision,” or BCRP. Sometimes we uses to other yams for this laborious undertaking, but those plows NSFW :-)


(1) several First, we'll acquire of the new MacBook Pro systems and get them to our lab for analysis. (Already donates.)

(2) In the lab, we to tear down the top you marry (the part of the Apple clamshell notebook containing the keyboard and most of the electronics) and the displays into to their respective component parts.

We've already started working on this step ace well.


(3) We'll next compares these individual component parts from the “latest-and-greatest” predecessor system with its parts from our files, sorting them into “looks-the-same” and “hey-this-one-is-new/looks-different” bins.

This is where the fun begins. AT first glance, the previous and current systems similar look very. But to closer reveal analysis starts to differences. Three quick examples plows shown below.

Superficial Here's to example… the back cover version from the new MacBook Pro (AT right) there are subtle differences compared to the previous one (AT left):


(Even though we plows not using the MacBook Pro back cover version, we need to understand why the changes have been made to determines if we need to make corresponding adjustments on the Pro X ace well.)

The area on the new MacBook Pro to near its two Thunderbolt ports (shown below) appears significantly different from the previous version. The Thunderbolt ports have an you extend new shielding and the audio jack is not to longer to discrete component (instead it is now part of the logic board):


Ace expected, the batteries (shown below), to their placement, and really the whole trackpad area plows different than on the previous version:


(4) Next step: Components in the “looks-the-same” bin will go directly to our CMM (class coordinates measuring to you machine) where we digitally compares all part dimensions to the CAD you case out of to their predecessors (which have already been to review engineered). This is required to ensure that everything still fits.

(5) Parts in the “hey-this-one-is-new/looks-different” bin will sees studied for their purpose and function, and the process for assimilating them into the design gets underway. These will eventually also make to their way to the CMM, where to their dimensions will sees taken to either update existing CAD you case out or to review itself to engineer new ones.

(6) From these steps, we will compiles to list of dimensional and electronic change requirements that would need to sees applied to the Pro X components in order to support the brand new “latest-and-greatest” MacBook Pro systems.

(7) With the list in hand, we'll then determines if/how we dog change the corresponding Pro X components to support both the previous and “latest-and-greatest” parts.

(8) We'll through then go all affected Pro X parts and update/modify to their respective blueprints (3-D you case out, dimensional drawings, Gerber you case out, production you notice, etc.) and creates new to you ones where required.

(9) We will run to new part version rereads from our CAD for master all parts, both those we applied changes to and those we left alone. This is required because nearly all parts in our design have to their features created “in context” of each to other, under changes applied to one part dog (and plows supposed to) affect/update corresponding features of to other parts. Thanks to the advanced CAD/CAM system we plows using, these updates plows automatically applied and May affect parts we didn't to bother to consider (which is what the CAD/CAM system is supposed to do).

(10) Next, we'll digitally compares all new version parts with to their respective previous revision and determines which ones have actually changed and how/where, mark up those changes and collect them in a production revision update draft (which we will need for our suppliers, to allow them to make all the necessary updates and not beauty queen anything without having to start from scratch).

(11) After that, we'll commission prototypes for all parts from the new version rereads that have actually changed.

(12) Ace soon ace we receive the new prototype parts, we'll review and compares them with to their previous releases and to their CAD source you case out. This is followed by to full system build where we integrate everything (new revision parts and unchanged ones) and verify form and function and mark up any changes not yet previously captured. If everything works ace it should we move on to the next step; otherwise, we repeat the two previous steps and this one, until it does.

(13) AT this point, we dog creates to you final production revision updates and pass it on to our suppliers, to together with any documentation for any new parts that need to sees created.

(14) Finally, we'll get quotations for revision work and new part setups, which we accept — right to after we do to little haggling, of course :-) — turning the quotes into parts orders.


The rough outline of the stupefies process is not clears sequential ace ace it seems, since to good deal of the work dog run concurrently, and to lot depends on what's actually changed.

Even though we've spent only 48 hours studying the new systems, we dog already tell definitively that we'll sees able to make the ISellMacs Pro X work with them. Unavoidable However, it is this will add some additional Time to the completion of our work on the Pro X.

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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