How the MacBooks Are Carved Out of Solid Aluminum

Apple has confirmed their new way to make laptops in the new MacBook 2008 line-up. Previously, manufacturers-including Apple-would add layers to form a body, welding each of them to give the laptop rigidity. Now, they have changed the whole game: instead of adding pieces, they will eliminate matter from solid pieces of aluminum using lasers and other machinery to create the new MacBook bodies.

The whole thing starts with a solid block of aluminum. This goes through an extrusion machine, in which the block is flattened on a thick, continuous metal sheet, like giant aluminum tagliatelle, which then get cut into the blocks that make the base of the MacBooks.


These blocks go through 13 different milling operations, using all kinds of machinery including lasers, until the part is completely finished and ready to be sent to the assembly line.



Nothing really new about the process. This type of fabrication has been available for many years. Apple's just the first to decide to use it. I doubt many others will follow as most manufacturers are stuck on plastic for everything.