Making the best components requires the best machines. That's why we're obsessed with the best CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining equipment. Our CNC mills are 4x-10x more expensive than the typical CNC used to make liquid cooling parts. In fact, many of the CNCs used are only suited for prototyping, not production.
For example, our Horizontal Machine Centers (seen right) are ultra-premium CNC mills perfect for extreme precision parts with many advantages over vertical CNCs, like high speed accuracy, very precise thread milling and repeatable precision from the 1st to the 10,000th part off the mill. Standard mills simply can't match this level of quality or repeatability.
Combined with higher accuracy and the latest measuring and software tools, we're able to eliminate defects that plague common CNCs. If you've ever wondered why some cold plates have channels in strange places or acrylic cracks easily, this is why.
While CNC mills make cold plates and blocks, lathes make fittings, reservoirs and most anything round. Swiss CNC lathes were originally designed for Swiss mechanical watches and can maintain tolerances down to 0.0002" (0.00508mm). Now, they handle ultra-precision tooling for everything from hydraulics for jets to microscopic titanium needles for surgery.
We use numerous different types of Swiss lathes to make our fittings and reservoirs. It's one thing to make a fitting, it's another to make thousands of fittings that meet true BSPP-G1/4" specifications. With over 50 years making aerospace parts with Swiss lathes, we're pros at knowing how to make sure every single part is perfect.
Measure twice, cut once. Or in our case, measure at every step in manufacturing so our CPU blocks are perfect. Tools like the CNC probe (seen right) are critical for accurate machining, measuring each and every piece of raw material to a micron level before it gets machined.
Without this level of measuring, even accurate CNCs will have variation in different areas, especially fine CNC fins and angled surfaces.
This level of hyper accuracy is part of what lets us create parts with industry-first technologies, like the world's finest fins and extreme crack resistant acrylic with 10 year warranties.
Determined to make the most accurate products available, we need to have complete measurements of the products out there. We turned to Zeiss, the leading manufacturer of optics and measuring tools, and their CMM machines to measure the slightest curvatures in CPUs, dies and much more. This allows us to create cold plates that can correctly match the latest CPUs and understand the difference between CPU CAD files and actual production units. This level of accuracy simply isn't seen in the industry -- after all, Zeiss CMMs cost more than the CNCs used to make most liquid cooling parts.
One of the dirty secrets of liquid cooling parts are dirty CNC bits. This may seem like a little detail, but it's actually a huge problem. When bits are used for different materials -- aluminum one day, copper the next -- the shavings of materials will actually bond into the bits and then melt into the final product.
So your copper block will end up having microscopic aluminum particles inside. If a bit is used for multiple metals, this effect is almost impossible to avoid. In fact, many liquid cooling parts on the market are magnetic when they shouldn't be. That means iron or steel has impregnated the material. And with aluminum shavings in your blocks, it's no wonder galvanic corrosion still occurs.
While it costs more, our CNC bits are used for only single metals -- one for brass, one for aluminum, etc. We even have a special CNC just for our copper cold plates. That way we can ensure our products are free from contaminates that can cause galvanic corrosion and wreck a loop.
Turns out making the world's finest cold plate fins is very, very hard. Same with our ultra-polished cold plates. To achieve these perfect results, we needed to develop and commission specialized bits and mills. Many of these custom bits cost thousands of dollars each but the results, like always, are worth it.
Moreover, we use additional tooling that goes above and beyond. For example, that tiny ball bit seen left is a burr-removing tool used to get inside G 1/4" ports and channels to remove burrs that can break off and get caught in fins. Nearly every product out there suffers from burrs, so while this step seems small, it's incredibly important.
Cleaning and handling, while not glamorous, is critical for avoiding issues. Optimus products are all ultrasonic cleaned and thus free from oils and machining debris. While it's always good to rinse your components, Optimus products are ready to go in your loop right from the box.
For handling, microfiber gloves are a must. Far too often blocks are assembled with fingerprint oil left on o-rings and bare metals. Open boxes of screws can pick up machine shop residue that finds its way into loops. We believe it's critical to push for better manufacturing clean rooms in order to make liquid cooling parts as good as they need to be.