How was the Apple iSight manufactured?

Does anyone know how the apple iSight was made? it’s an incredible piece of engineering and manufacturing. The main body is a simple piece of extruded aluminum - no part lines. but how did they perforate the holes in a cylinder?


a) Slowest: Laser cut or CNC’d

b) Slow: extruded cylinder is rotated while a single row of holes is punched

c) Fastest: extruded cylinder is forced through a “mouth” of wagon-wheel hole-punches

I agree with CG

CNC would be my first guess, although it seems amazing that they could spend so much money on that particular part (like he said, slow = high part cost)

From this video

It looks like laser might not be as slow as I thought. But it would definitely be expensive.

If the part really is extruded (which it seems like, since the holes all are perfectly radial, so they weren’t punched pre-roll) then punching is out, because you’d need a surface inside the tube to punch against in order to get a clean hole. And, if you were going to go through the trouble to make that tooling, you should just CNC.

So, as expensive as it seems, I would say CNC was the best bet, especially considering the other cut that is made in the base of the part to hold the plastic stand. That cut would be pretty weird to make on a laser or waterjet, because it’s oblique to the surface.

I have forwarded this question to by friend in the Ipod engineering group at Apple, so we’ll what he has to say.