Not new, but cool: How heatsinks are made

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,667   +1,129
Staff member
In context: Heatsinks are essential in any computer and many electronic devices. As CPUs and GPUs have gotten faster and hotter over the years, heatsinks have evolved and come in many shapes and sizes. Some are huge, like the one in the PlayStation 5 (some are even bigger). Others are small, like the ones used on an M.2 SSD.

Regardless of size or shape, the way they are manufactured is pretty cool (no pun intended). There are generally five different processes to make most of the standard heatsinks we use today — casting, milling, extrusion (pushing hot metal through a die), 3D printing, and skiving (cutting the metal into slices, also called scarfing).

While the video is not new, thermal solution manufacturer Zaward has a good example of the skiving process on its YouTube channel (below). Here it is carving large heatsinks from a single block of aluminum, but the process works the same for copper.

First, engineers lubricate a large metal block and place it in a skiving machine. A control panel tunes the blade for desired fin thickness and other specifications. Once the machine starts processing, the skiver shaves the metal downward at an angle.

Also read: The Science of Keeping It Cool

On Zaward's machine, the top part of the blade pushes the fin into a vertical position as the bottom part cuts the next slice simultaneously. As you can see in the second video from Reddit (below), some skiver blades cut and then lift to bend the fin.

Regardless of the type of machine, the third step is dissecting. A different blade cuts the long block of raw heatsinks into the desired lengths. As you can imagine, all this metal cutting leaves burrs and sharp edges. So the raw heatsink blocks are sent through a grinder to remove these imperfections. The grinding process also shaves down the excess metal from the bottom of the heatsink to make it the desired height.

Once it's cleaned up, the product is ready for packaging and is shipped to OEMs that manufacture anything from PCs to satellites. It's a pretty neat process that many never get to see.

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ypsylon

Posts: 525   +544
Judging from Zaward video that's new cooler for Intel HEDT CPUs and incoming 4000 series from nVidia. :p

When you look at whole block of aluminium which is hard to move after the process that put things into the perspective. Very interesting, especially as people have usually only limited experience with tiny fraction of that monumental heatsink block coming from the milling machine after 1st run.
 

NumberSix

Posts: 175   +281
Bring back the days of tiny heat sinks and 10,000rpm fans I say, it was a lovely experience and was a constant reminder of what the dentist sounded like.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,175   +8,323
This reminds me of a very old joke: "How to you make a statue of an elephant"? Get a huge block of granite, and chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant. Bah, dum dump. :rolleyes:.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,175   +8,323
WHAT??? I always thought "no pun intended" was sarcasm.
It depends on several factors. IMO, "no pun intended" primarily serves to highlight the fact a pun is present..(**)

It generally does mean the opposite, which handily fits definition 1 (?) for "sarcasm".

However, it can additionally indicate modesty on the part of the writer, indicating the pun was introduced accidentally, and the writer doesn't want to take credit for it. (In legal terms, "pun committed without malice aforethought").In which case, the reading "jury", must return a verdict of, "not guilty by reason of.simple ineptitude"..

"No pun intended", can also signify the writer is uncertain how the pun will be received. (Face saving tactic, in case it bombs).

My favorite Nigerian prince in the whole world @yRaz is correct that, "pun intended" is the ballzier approach, exuding confidence in one's own writing skills. (y) (Y)

(**) I of course, hang on every word Techspot's writers put out, (particularly yours), and would immediately and intuitively realize that a pun was present and intended. BTW, sarcasm obviation can also be introduced using the rolleyes emoticon ( :rolleyes: ), which can also be copy / pasted anywhere else in an article the writer or respondent deems appropriate. :rolleyes: 🤣
 
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Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,667   +1,129
Staff member
It depends on several factors. IMO, "no pun intended" primarily serves to highlight the fact a pin is present..(**)

It generally does mean the opposite, which handily fits definition 1 (?) for "sarcasm".

However, it can additionally indicate modesty on the part of the writer, indicating the pun was introduced accidentally, and the writer doesn't want to take credit for it. (In legal terms, "pun committed without malice aforethought").In which case, the reading "jury", must return a verdict of, "not guilty by reason of.simple ineptitude"..

"No pun intended", can also signify the writer is uncertain how the pun will be received. (Face saving tactic, in case it bombs).

My favorite Nigerian prince in the whole world @yRaz is correct that, "pun intended" is the ballzier approach, exuding confidence in one's own writing skills. (y) (Y)

(**) I of course, hang on every word Techspot's writers put out, (particularly yours), and would immediately and intuitively realize that a pun was present and intended. BTW, sarcasm obviation can also be introduced using the rolleyes emoticon ( :rolleyes: ), which can also be copy / pasted anywhere else in an article the writer or respondent deems appropriate. :rolleyes: 🤣
😂🤣😂