New Macbooks and Manufacturing

Tue 14 October 2008 by Garry Bodsworth

The most exciting thing for me about the new MacBooks announced today is seeing the manufacturing process. You can watch the video here.

You see I used to write software that did exactly that kind of machining up until about 10 months ago. CAM programming is not for the faint-hearted. Seeing proper videos online of what CAM software actually does is something of a rarity since most CAD/CAM companies obfuscate their online presence.

In the video you can see lots of liquid coolant being pumped onto the solid block whilst the cutter does the hard work. I’m just wondering what software is being used to create the toolpaths, especially since there are only a handful of packages capable of doing it, as well as a lot of them use the same algorithms internally. In fact whoever’s software is doing it should be shouting it from the rooftops, its the closest thing the CAM industry has had to publicity

When you see the “back” of the laptop shell you can see the toolpath’s route around the job. It seems to have a large stepover (the gap between paths). I’d be interested to know how long each one takes to run the toolpath because I know someone who is really good at writing this type of software. I’d also be interested to know whether the software I used to work on would have done the job.