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Photo offers rare glimpse into Apple's design studio

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit has posted a photograph of Jonathan Ive somewhere inside Apple's design studio, a facility rarely exposed to the general public.

"We did a follow-up interview with Jony Ive at Apple in California last week, and enjoyed the opportunity of filming inside Apple's design facilities," Hustwit wrote on a website promoting an upcoming film.

"I felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," he added, "except everything was made of shiny aluminum instead of candy. *And there were no oompa loompas."

Hustwit is working on a documentary called Objectified that will examine industrial design. *The film is described as "a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets."

Hustwit's other credits include a documentary about the band Wilco, one filmed during a Death Cab for Cutie tour, and another documentary about electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive somewhere in Apple's design studio | Source: Objectified

His documentary about graphic design and typography, Helvetica, premiered in 2007.
post #2 of 48
Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.

Looks like a bunch of waterjets...
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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Looks like a bunch of waterjets...

I see at least four machines that look like vertical milling machinines, one for sure against the back wall, the machine doors are open.
post #5 of 48
Wish our granite tabletops were on wheels like that.
post #6 of 48
Cant wait.
I love all those topics too so chances are I would like the movie when it comes out.

Well except for "Death Cab for Cutie."
ZOMG what an over-rated noisy horrible band that is!

They are the only purchase from iTunes I regret so far and I buy a *lot* of music.
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post #7 of 48
I recall the promotional video for the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh had a lot of shots of Ive & crew working on that design, but that was a long, long time ago, and probably a more than a little stylized for the cameras. So yes this is a rare look at Apple process, along with Apple's recent video about the unibody aluminum MacBooks.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Looks like a bunch of waterjets...

The fluid you always see is just the coolant for the cutting tools. Presumably you could cut almost anything with a water jet but only if you wanted to cut clear through the piece - not very practical for machining things to precise depths such as mortising out a MB case.

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post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The fluid you always see is just the coolant for the cutting tools. Presumably you could cut almost anything with a water jet but only if you wanted to cut clear through the piece - not very practical for machining things to precise depths such as mortising out a MB case.

If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.

K
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post #10 of 48
That room is probably the least interesting room of that whole oufit if Apple sees fit to allow video of it to be widely distributed. Still pretty sweet set up though. Probably puts some actual prototype design companies to shame.
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.

K

Can't identify them... but they are not water jets... they are CNC milling machines.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.

K


The blue color is Bridgeport I think

EDIT no that is wrong - it looks like Bridgeport is red

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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.

"Industrial design", perhaps?
post #14 of 48
Well, water jets would be a good guess, but I am more inclined to say they are CNC machines. The fluid you see is cooling fluid for the cutting tips. What make they are is beyond me, but I have worked alongside machinists using very similar machines. Just a thought.

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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The blue color is Bridgeport I think

EDIT no that is wrong - it looks like Bridgeport is red

Could they be Hurco's. They are blue.
post #16 of 48
They look like a large 3D printer I once saw... takes ages to etch out the models.

Here's a simpler one. Ooo, I sooooo want one of these:
http://www.dimensionprinting.com

http://www.desktopfactory.com/
Next time I have a spare $5000 lying around the office...

This looks like the business end of the design studio; little presentation space, no image on walls, nothing there for inspiration.

 

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post #17 of 48
post #18 of 48
I wonder if those hardware designers ever think about how Apple technicians are going to support Apple customers. Or maybe they just think that customer support is beneath them, so they don't give it a second thought. The current aluminum iMac is a service nightmare. Furthermore, Apple does not accept 24 inch iMacs for mail-in repair, even though they will accept a 30 inch Cinema Display. And this is the computer that Apple wants everyone to buy. Does Apple not have confidence in their own technicians?

Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support. And not just take it apart in a sloppy way, but following all the same procedures and precautions as if he was working on an actual customer's unit. And then put it all back together again, following all the same precautions. If the hardware designer is unable to lead by example and do a disassembly+reassembly by himself, then he has no business expecting lower paid technicians to do his dirty work.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

I wonder if those hardware designers ever think about how Apple technicians are going to support Apple customers. Or maybe they just think that customer support is beneath them, so they don't give it a second thought. The current aluminum iMac is a service nightmare. Furthermore, Apple does not accept 24 inch iMacs for mail-in repair, even though they will accept a 30 inch Cinema Display. And this is the computer that Apple wants everyone to buy. Does Apple not have confidence in their own technicians?

Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support. And not just take it apart in a sloppy way, but following all the same procedures and precautions as if he was working on an actual customer's unit. And then put it all back together again, following all the same precautions. If the hardware designer is unable to lead by example and do a disassembly+reassembly by himself, then he has no business expecting lower paid technicians to do his dirty work.

I am pretty sure the hardware designers know their machines inside out.
I don't know about the imac but i think the new macbooks must be much easier to fix given the new unibody enclosure which replaces a lot of small parts.
The same must be true about the iphone 3g, with the screws at the bottom and an easier to replace internal battery.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support.

I suspect that is precisely what they do.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

They look like a large 3D printer I once saw... takes ages to etch out the models.

Here's a simpler one. Ooo, I sooooo want one of these:
http://www.dimensionprinting.com

http://www.desktopfactory.com/
Next time I have a spare $5000 lying around the office...

This looks like the business end of the design studio; little presentation space, no image on walls, nothing there for inspiration.

It takes having a business to justify one, unless you're a hobbyist with some serious money and engineering & design skills. I want one of those things, I don't know at what point it would make sense. If I were offering it as a service, I wouldn't take one on unless I had at least a dozen solid customers asking for the service. The Dimension is the way to go, but even then, it's still slow and expensive. I don't know if Desktop Factory is good enough to use as a prototype service device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Could they be Hurco's. They are blue.

For Hurco, the left front panel is blue, not the doors:

http://www.hurco.com/USA/Products/Ma...ngCenters.aspx

Having seen some old ones, I think they've had that theme for decades.
post #22 of 48
We've seen Apple simplify things for technicians a number of times. I can't think what off the top of my head, but it's certainly something they consider... After all, technician time costs Apple money, if they can make all their computers 10% faster to open and close, that's potentially a big cost saving.
post #23 of 48
Quote:

That might be the one. Getting even closer:
http://rcrfabrication.com/images/shop/cnc%20mill.jpg



It looks like Fadal changed their color scheme lately, I think they were bought out.

The colors, and the curve on the doors and the tool carousel all look right, the only difference I see is the chip removal system, which is optional on a lot of machines anyway.
post #24 of 48
Actually, the CNCs behind Ive look more like the VMC 4525.



More info on capabilities here:

http://www.fadal.com/products/vertic.../vmc-4525.html
post #25 of 48
IRON MAN! That is like Tony Stark's lab in Iron Man! (Well almost... it's certainly what I thought straight away...)

Feels like Jonny Ive might just walk onto a platform, "suit up" and fly out through the roof, Aluminium MacBook Prototype in hand...!

Steve Jobs might be the skinny version of the character Jeff Bridges played.
(That comment possibly in bad taste, I know)
post #26 of 48
All the CNC milling machines I've seen were German-made machine tools with PLCs (programmable logic controls) from Siemens. Japan was the other main source for machine tools. They're probably made in China now.
post #27 of 48
Who cares what the machines are, it's a simple clean machine shop, and an empty one I might add, with little evidenve of any work being done.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


It looks like Fadal changed their color scheme lately, I think they were bought out.

The colors, and the curve on the doors and the tool carousel all look right, the only difference I see is the chip removal system, which is optional on a lot of machines anyway.

Could be 'Fadal', if you look at the monitors, you can make out 'Fadal' on the screen.
post #29 of 48
Jonathan Ive, working in his secret apple lab on the MacBook Wheel.

post #30 of 48
No Oompa Loompa's! Well that's pretty damn disappointing.
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post #31 of 48
Happy?

post #32 of 48
BEST THREAD this week...!
post #33 of 48
This is NOT the Industrial Design studio, which is located on the main campus in the IL2 building (ie. Infinite Loop 2), which I've been in many times. This is from their model shop on Bandley Drive, just off the main Infinite Loop campus. Those are 3D printers, they don't have CNC machines.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by worked4apple View Post

This is NOT the Industrial Design studio, which is located on the main campus in the IL2 building (ie. Infinite Loop 2), which I've been in many times. This is from their model shop on Bandley Drive, just off the main Infinite Loop campus. Those are 3D printers, they don't have CNC machines.

First, you need to convince me that you know what you're talking about with regards to machinery. If you say they don't have CNC machines, how do you explain the pictures? Those are clearly CNC vertical milling machines. 3D printers don't have tool changer carousels like those machines do.
post #35 of 48
I just noticed the XFILES POSTER... Brilliant! Ha! Best thread this week! Can't make out the character or something which you put into the screen in the background though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulky Cranium View Post

Jonathan Ive, working in his secret apple lab on the MacBook Wheel.

post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It takes having a business to justify one, unless you're a hobbyist with some serious money and engineering & design skills. I want one of those things, I don't know at what point it would make sense. If I were offering it as a service, I wouldn't take one on unless I had at least a dozen solid customers asking for the service. The Dimension is the way to go, but even then, it's still slow and expensive. I don't know if Desktop Factory is good enough to use as a prototype service device.

I'll be sticking with my X-acto and Dremel tools for a while...

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I'll be sticking with my X-acto and Dremel tools for a while...

Heh. Dremel. I broke so many bits trying to cut various parts of a PowerMac G5 case with a Dremel... That case is hard stuff!
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I just noticed the XFILES POSTER... Brilliant! Ha! Best thread this week! Can't make out the character or something which you put into the screen in the background though...

It's the screen for creating a character on World of Warcraft, on it is a Tauren Female selected, if you are still curious.
post #39 of 48
So do the computers that control these things run Windows??
post #40 of 48
oweneck, you must be a gamer. Pretty precise answer.

Just thought, some folks might not know what a Macbook Wheel is:

http://www.theonion.com/content/vide..._revolutionary
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