Apple exploring new ways of melting and feeding Liquidmetal for manufacturing

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,693member
    I believe that Apple is very interested in using Liquidmetal. But it isn't there yet, and that needs to be understood.

    Related to this, does anyone here remember the patents Apple received for zirconia ceramic? They applied for a number of patents relating to this several years ago, the last in 2013, I think, and guess what? The SS and gold models have zirconia ceramic backs. The aluminum one has a back described as a composite, but from the graphics and photos, looks the same.
  • Reply 42 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    The items marked "confidential" per Apple have never been reported Mel, and there's a lot of 'em.



    and here ya go, from the contract:





    "Consumer Electronic Products" means personal computers (portable and desktop); tablet or slate style computing devices; handheld electronic and/or communication devices (e.g., smartphones, digital music players, multi-function devices, etc.); any device whose function includes the creation, storage or consumption of digital media; any component or sub-component in any Consumer Electronic Product; and any accessory that is the same or similar (in Apple's sole discretion) to an accessory made or sold by or on behalf of Apple (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such accessory, including after the Closing Date) that is suitable for use with any Consumer Electronic Product. Notwithstanding the foregoing, "Consumer Electronic Products" shall not include:



    (i)

    products (except for any product that is capable of interacting or interfacing with a Consumer Electronic Product) that are powered by electricity or batteries but that do not in any way involve the creation, storage, consumption, use, viewing, transmission, or processing of digital media or digital information and do not involve the use of wireless communication networks. Products that fall into this category include, without limitation, electric-powered and/or battery-powered drills, hand tools and watches (i.e. a wrist-worn device whose sole function is to display the time of day);



    (ii)

    medical devices and other products that are not the same or similar to any Apple product (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such product, including after the Closing Date) and that are used exclusively for the diagnosis and/or treatment of human or animal health conditions; or



    (iii)

    products or components thereof that are not the same as or similar to any Apple product (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such product, including after the Closing Date) or component of any Apple product and that are made solely for, and sold solely into, the defense/military, automotive, medical, or industrial market

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    The items marked "confidential" per Apple have never been reported Mel, and there's a lot of 'em.



    and here ya go, from the contract:





    "Consumer Electronic Products" means personal computers (portable and desktop); tablet or slate style computing devices; handheld electronic and/or communication devices (e.g., smartphones, digital music players, multi-function devices, etc.); any device whose function includes the creation, storage or consumption of digital media; any component or sub-component in any Consumer Electronic Product; and any accessory that is the same or similar (in Apple's sole discretion) to an accessory made or sold by or on behalf of Apple (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such accessory, including after the Closing Date) that is suitable for use with any Consumer Electronic Product. Notwithstanding the foregoing, "Consumer Electronic Products" shall not include:



    (i)

    products (except for any product that is capable of interacting or interfacing with a Consumer Electronic Product) that are powered by electricity or batteries but that do not in any way involve the creation, storage, consumption, use, viewing, transmission, or processing of digital media or digital information and do not involve the use of wireless communication networks. Products that fall into this category include, without limitation, electric-powered and/or battery-powered drills, hand tools and watches (i.e. a wrist-worn device whose sole function is to display the time of day);



    (ii)

    medical devices and other products that are not the same or similar to any Apple product (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such product, including after the Closing Date) and that are used exclusively for the diagnosis and/or treatment of human or animal health conditions; or



    (iii)

    products or components thereof that are not the same as or similar to any Apple product (regardless of when Apple sold or started to sell such product, including after the Closing Date) or component of any Apple product and that are made solely for, and sold solely into, the defense/military, automotive, medical, or industrial markets.

     

    from my understanding, apple would never have to pay a licence fee to use lquidmetal, and liquidmetal cannot licence IP from crucible relating to "consumer devices"

     

    but that does not stop a competitor form buying liquidmetal and compete directly with apple in consumer devices.

    crucible IP is 100% owned by liquidmetal with apple having the right to use those IP as does the new owner of those IP rights.

    the right to use, not the right to licence, won't bother samsung or microsoft.

     

    liquidmetal is like plastic but its metal.

  • Reply 43 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Since there are literally thousands of gold watch case designs, I have a couple, it's obvious that losing gold isn't an issue. Gold cases have been made for centuries. They don't need to machine them from scratch. They often start the process from a casting. I used to do centrifical jewelry casting and lost wax casting.



    Platinum has always been more expensive than gold. But there are a fair number of Liquidmetal alloys. Most don't require platinum. But if Apple were able to use a platinum based Liquidmetal alloy, that would be a high end selling point. It would be unique.

     

    but apples gold watches will cost much less than those hand made custom watches, apple is all about volume to the masses and injected gold watches are cheaper to make.

     

    yes is platinum would be a unique addition the the edition series watches,

    first 18kt gold alloy, next a 18kt platinum alloy, true to the original liquidmetal recipe, 

    that would be the applewatch i buy :)

  • Reply 44 of 66

    Liquidmetal reminds me of Reardon Metal.

  • Reply 45 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    I believe that Apple is very interested in using Liquidmetal. But it isn't there yet, and that needs to be understood.



    Related to this, does anyone here remember the patents Apple received for zirconia ceramic? They applied for a number of patents relating to this several years ago, the last in 2013, I think, and guess what? The SS and gold models have zirconia ceramic backs. The aluminum one has a back described as a composite, but from the graphics and photos, looks the same.

     

    According to Andy Ihnatko, the high-end line are very heavy watches.

  • Reply 46 of 66
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hngfr View Post

     

     

    so the "custom cold forged alloys" from apple are what exactly? 




    Marketing guff about them using perfectly ordinary and commonly available alloys of aluminium, steel and gold.  Do you really think Apple needs to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the materials watches are made from?  Custom just means you asked for something to be done for you and someone then did it.

     

    Do you really think the Aerospace industry had to wait for Apple to make a watch before they had access to decent Aluminium based alloys.  Rolex, Omega, TAG, Longines, Breitling, etc, etc, etc, must be jumping up and down with joy now that Apple have arrived on the market with their miraculous stainless steel that never before existed.  How the worlds nuclear power industries ever existed before Apple came along is just one of those mysteries.

     

    Hardened gold - another Apple first.

  • Reply 47 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike P View Post

     

    Looking at Liquidmetal's financials, it looks like Swatch has exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal in watches, just like Apple's agreement for exclusive rights in electronic devices.  




    Clearly Apple is going to have to purchase Swatch...only worth around $16.2 billion.

  • Reply 48 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     



    Marketing guff about them using perfectly ordinary and commonly available alloys of aluminium, steel and gold.  Do you really think Apple needs to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the materials watches are made from?  Custom just means you asked for something to be done for you and someone then did it.

     

    Do you really think the Aerospace industry had to wait for Apple to make a watch before they had access to decent Aluminium based alloys.  Rolex, Omega, TAG, Longines, Breitling, etc, etc, etc, must be jumping up and down with joy now that Apple have arrived on the market with their miraculous stainless steel that never before existed.  How the worlds nuclear power industries ever existed before Apple came along is just one of those mysteries.

     

    Hardened gold - another Apple first.


     

    Transparent aluminium here we come.

  • Reply 49 of 66
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    melgross wrote: »
    It doesn't matter. These contracts are obviously out there, and that's all that does matter. And Apple is obviously aware of it.

    It wasn't, but It is now, and I'm guessing it will also come to Apple's attention. :)
  • Reply 50 of 66
    I wonder what advantages liquid metal has in 3D printing? The Apple i3D printer?
  • Reply 51 of 66
    roake wrote: »
    Liquidmetal Sapphire iPhone 6S (the "S" is for Sapphire)
    How many times do dummy's have to realize that 6S will be same material as 6.
  • Reply 52 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I prefer the proper terminology when describing processes. Otherwise it's difficult to tell if someone has any idea at all about what they're talking about. Often, they don't. These processes are all well known, well developed, and are used for just about every mechanically made part in existence. The costs are low because they are so standardized. Liquidmetal has been used in very limited form for short run products that have been high cost. We're talking about tens of millions of even fairly complex parts, possibly, in the case of iPhones, a couple of hundred million.



    The problem is that while Crucible and Apple have lots of process patents, real mass production machinery hasn't yet been built. People who have never been involved in design and production don't realize how long it can take between theorizing, conceptualizing, early design, prototyping, and manufacturing of the manufacturing equipment itself. Then, and only then, after all the bugs are worked out, and there will be plenty, can they begin the process all over again with parts for products. This takes years. The average time from invention to production is seven years. More complex processes take longer.



    People often think this is science fiction, where you're losing the war on Monday, new weapons are designed on Tuesday, production starts on Wednesday, they begin using them on Thursday, Friday the war is won, and Saturday they are relaxing. Sunday, a new war begins, and the whole thing begins again.

     

    liquidmetal production is not science fiction, it is available now 

    ? Metal injection moulding ENGEL Liquidmetal®

     

    regarding short production runs,

    liquidmetal can be injection moulded in 2.5 minutes .... repeatedly .... continuously .... accurately ...

    thats a new outer-cover every 2.5 minutes, injection moulded made with metal, 

     

    take much longer to cnc mill an outer-cover.

  • Reply 53 of 66
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hngfr View Post

     

     

    liquidmetal production is not science fiction, it is available now 

    ? Metal injection moulding ENGEL Liquidmetal®

     

    regarding short production runs,

    liquidmetal can be injection moulded in 2.5 minutes .... repeatedly .... continuously .... accurately ...

    thats a new outer-cover every 2.5 minutes, injection moulded made with metal, 

     

    take much longer to cnc mill an outer-cover.




    Liquid Metal is expensive, dense and heavy.

     

    I think Apple got into LM because they thought it would solve a problematic issue at the time - possibly laptop hinges - then found a cheaper better solution that didn't require it.  Apple is very forward thinking but I really doubt their interest in LM was purely speculative and this many years off in the future.

     

    Four years have passed since Apple acquired the LM rights and nothing has eventuated.  Contrast that with their acquisition of Sapphire manufacturing capability - less than a year and the products are hitting the market.

  • Reply 54 of 66
    How many times do dummy's have to realize that 6S will be same material as 6.


    The iPhone 5S came with a sapphire Home Button while the iPhone 5 came with whatever material that was made from.
  • Reply 55 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     



    Liquid Metal is expensive, dense and heavy.

     

    I think Apple got into LM because they thought it would solve a problematic issue at the time - possibly laptop hinges - then found a cheaper better solution that didn't require it.  Apple is very forward thinking but I really doubt their interest in LM was purely speculative and this many years off in the future.

     

    Four years have passed since Apple acquired the LM rights and nothing has eventuated.  Contrast that with their acquisition of Sapphire manufacturing capability - less than a year and the products are hitting the market.


    liquidmetal is a marketing term for all BMG or amorphous alloys, 

     

    BMG alloys can be light or heavy, all depends on the alloys used, 18kt gold alloy is heavier than aluminium alloy.

     

    BUT BMG have a superior strength/weigh ratio to the crystalline alloys they replace.

    i.e. liquidmetal aluminium is stronger and lighter than standard crystalline aluminium alloys.

     

    also apple has been using liquidmetal for years, the sim ejector tool, and apple never bothered to tell anyone about that.

     

    as to cost,

    material cost of the original liquidmetal was high because of the use of platinum.

    but BMG can be made with many different, cheaper metals, the only difference would be the performance of the BMG alloy.

     

    how about production costs?

    much cheaper to work with liquidmetal alloys, cheaper to inject mould in a few minutes rather than cnc mill for hours with lots of wast needing to be recycled.

  • Reply 56 of 66
    melgross wrote: »
    People often think this is science fiction, where you're losing the war on Monday, new weapons are designed on Tuesday, production starts on Wednesday, they begin using them on Thursday, Friday the war is won, and Saturday they are relaxing. Sunday, a new war begins, and the whole thing begins again.

    That is just too funny, so QFP to read it again.
  • Reply 57 of 66
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hngfr View Post

     

    liquidmetal is a marketing term for all BMG or amorphous alloys, 

     

    BMG alloys can be light or heavy, all depends on the alloys used, 18kt gold alloy is heavier than aluminium alloy.

     

    BUT BMG have a superior strength/weigh ratio to the crystalline alloys they replace.

    i.e. liquidmetal aluminium is stronger and lighter than standard crystalline aluminium alloys.

     

    also apple has been using liquidmetal for years, the sim ejector tool, and apple never bothered to tell anyone about that.

     

    as to cost,

    material cost of the original liquidmetal was high because of the use of platinum.

    but BMG can be made with many different, cheaper metals, the only difference would be the performance of the BMG alloy.

     

    how about production costs?

    much cheaper to work with liquidmetal alloys, cheaper to inject mould in a few minutes rather than cnc mill for hours with lots of wast needing to be recycled.




    You have convinced me.

     

     

     

    I'm right.

  • Reply 58 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     



    You have convinced me.

     

     

     

    I'm right.


     

    Question: Apple has invented the series 7000 aluminium alloy that is 60% stronger and very light, so why did apple NOT use the new alloy to make the iPhone6 and iPhone6+ ?

    Answer: Because the iPhones are milled out of a block of aluminium alloy, while the watch is injection moulded with the aluminium BMG alloy.

     

    Question: If liquidmetal is so expensive and heavy, then why did apple make a sim ejector tool out of a supposedly expensive material, and why is the sim ejector tool so light ?

    Answer: Different BMG alloys have different weight and prices, 18kt gold alloy > stainless alloy > aluminium alloy.  both in weight and price.

     

    liquidmetal is the commercial name given to any bulk metallic glass or amorphous alloys, and liquidmetal the company owns all the IP on how BMG's are injection moulded, tempered, made, which apple has free use of.

  • Reply 59 of 66
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hngfr View Post

     

     

    Question: Apple has invented the series 7000 aluminium alloy that is 60% stronger and very light, so why did apple NOT use the new alloy to make the iPhone6 and iPhone6+ ?

    Answer: Because the iPhones are milled out of a block of aluminium alloy, while the watch is injection moulded with the aluminium BMG alloy.

     

    Question: If liquidmetal is so expensive and heavy, then why did apple make a sim ejector tool out of a supposedly expensive material, and why is the sim ejector tool so light ?

    Answer: Different BMG alloys have different weight and prices, 18kt gold alloy > stainless alloy > aluminium alloy.  both in weight and price.

     

    liquidmetal is the commercial name given to any bulk metallic glass or amorphous alloys, and liquidmetal the company owns all the IP on how BMG's are injection moulded, tempered, made, which apple has free use of.




    Apple invented this 7000 series alloy did they? http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/7000-series-aluminum-alloy-sheet.html

     

    As for the SIM ejector tool :

     

    Quote:


     told Cult of Mac that he recognized the metal when he opened his iPhone 3G years ago. The site also independently confirmed the use of the alloy as a test of the company's manufacturing capabilities.


    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/112212/liquidmetal-created-sim-ejector-tool-for-apples-iphone-ipad

     

    And that would explain the 'why'.  Perhaps the SIM ejector tool only seems light because it's small?

     

    A colourful character who claims to have co-invented a LM alloy said he expected Apple would need to spend 300 - 500 million to develop  manufacturing processes to use the material and that this would take some years.  You are claiming that these processes currently exist and are ready to go.  When did that happen?

  • Reply 60 of 66
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     



    Apple invented this 7000 series alloy did they? http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/7000-series-aluminum-alloy-sheet.html

     

    As for the SIM ejector tool :

     

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/112212/liquidmetal-created-sim-ejector-tool-for-apples-iphone-ipad

     

    And that would explain the 'why'.  Perhaps the SIM ejector tool only seems light because it's small?

     

    A colourful character who claims to have co-invented a LM alloy said he expected Apple would need to spend 300 - 500 million to develop  manufacturing processes to use the material and that this would take some years.  You are claiming that these processes currently exist and are ready to go.  When did that happen?


     

    apple/liquidmetal via crucible IP invented how the series 7000 alloy is cold forged/injected to make it a BMG, quick chilling, tweaked alloy mix.

     

    as an example gold can have different metals mixed with it to make it 18kt. different alloy mix, same name.

     

    and remember apple has made the claim itself that the watches are all made from "custom alloys" 

    liquidmetal is a term to describe ANY amorphous alloy, 

     

     

    liquidmetal injection moulding has existed for a while now ..... 

    ? Metal injection moulding ENGEL Liquidmetal®

Sign In or Register to comment.