The computers and electronics we all use daily have some unique marvels inside. Have you ever built a computer or looked inside one and wondered how those shiny, pointy, heatsink fins are made?
Heatsinks are those silver or copper metal fins and porcupine-looking blocks on the inside of computers, and they help disperse heat, so our devices stay cool and perform their best. We recently stumbled upon a video that shows how heatsinks get manufactured, and it’s far simpler than I ever expected.
Take a look yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the obnoxious noise the machine makes.
While the video above is a few months old, it recently surfaced on Twitter, and I found it fascinating. I always thought heatsinks were milled one at a time, laser-cut into odd shapes to fit each PC or electrical component, but no, it’s a simple process that makes a lot of sense.
Apparently, many heatsinks are made using a process known as ‘skiving,’ where a giant machine literally scrapes super-thin layers of copper (or other materials) into fins, then bends them upwards before starting over on the next row.
Workers lay a large piece of copper on the machine, turn on some cold running water, and hit go. Then, the machine slices and dices its way through the copper, like swiss cheese, instantly making large heatsinks in minutes. Fascinating, right?
From here, the entire slab of copper fins likely goes to another machine where it’s cut into individual blocks perfectly sized for each specific application.
So, the next time you’re having an intense PS5 or PC gaming session and wonder what helps keep your machine cool and running at the highest frames-per-second, think back to this clip.