Posted by: tranquilpc | June 13, 2011

Moving to automation

CNC (Computer Numeric Control) is a great to make machines do the same task, in exactly the same way, time after time after time (if only humans had a CNC interface).

Tranquil’s first exploration into CNC was the acquisition of a production laser etch/cut machine in the summer of 2010.  This machine is now busy most days either laser etching ixLS front panels for unique customer identification, or cutting plastic panels for T2 / T7 PCs.  The laser, although controlled by CNC, was very easy to setup as the software interface only required .dxf files, which were then converted to simple X-Y paths, which the laser follows.

Fast forward to May 2011, and the increasing need for specialised alloy parts drove Tranquil to look into CNC milling machines.  Typically all of our components are designed here in Manchester, then extruded / machined and finished in China, therefore no internal machining was carried out.  But there has always been the need for R&D to create simple parts, which generally were made by UK suppliers (at very high costs).

Some of the cooling system parts in the new Leo Server and in a number of other products are quite complex and required short development times.  With this need in mind a small CNC milling machine was purchased and after only a short time is now fully operational and churning out little alloy blocks and other components.

Later in 2011, Tranquil will purchase a second, much larger CNC milling machine.  This venture will enable the creation of new and unique “Monocoque” based systems (MC).  Monocoque meaning ‘single shell’ in French, is a construction technique that utilises the external skin to support some or most of the load. This is as opposed to using an internal frame or chassis that is then covered with cosmetic body panels.

These new MC systems will be based on a single component chassis, with no seams, or joints.  Think of a huge alloy block, carved out on the inside and sculpted on the outside – to create a single bodied device – which of course will not only be extremely strong, but will be a huge heat sink too.  These very exclusive MC systems should be available later in 2011.

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Responses

  1. would this be like apples unibody technology on the macbook pros and the mac minis? If so that would be some sexy looking media pcs 🙂

    Yes, sure

    • Nicholas, the monoque PC will be ready later in 2011, from Tranquil – it’s extremely nice!

    • check out more images on the blog


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