News Column

Patent Issued for Scribing for Polishing Process Validation

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Lancaster-Larocque, Simon R (Gloucester, CA), filed on June 24, 2012, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8814632 is Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The proliferation of high volume manufactured, portable electronic devices has encouraged innovation in both functional and aesthetic design practices for enclosures that encase such devices. Manufactured devices can include a casing that provides an ergonomic shape and aesthetically pleasing visual appearance desirable to the user of the device. Surfaces of casings molded from thermoplastic compounds can be shaped and polished to a highly reflective finish; however, the polished reflective surface can reveal minor variations in the final surface geometry. Molded casings can include complex geometric shapes that are difficult to finish to a uniform surface appearance. Prior art techniques can result in a tactilely smooth finish with an undesirable variation in visual reflective appearance. Moreover, due to the soft nature of polishing media, it is difficult to provide a consistent polishing process over a surface of the housing resulting in visually obvious variations in the surface finish.

"Thus there exists a need for a method and an apparatus for polishing a three dimensional curved edge of an object resulting in a visually smooth and consistent reflective appearance."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "This paper describes many embodiments that relate to an apparatus, method and computer readable medium for enabling precise material removal as part of a polishing process.

"In a first embodiment a method for calibrating a polishing operation for a spline-shaped housing is disclosed. The spline shaped housing has a varying radius curvature across its surface. The method includes at least the following steps: (1) placing at least one polishing scribe mark in a surface of a test housing having dimensions in accordance with a production style housing, the at least one polishing scribe mark having a depth deeper than a maximum material removal depth for the production style housing; (2) polishing the surface of the test housing including the polishing scribe mark; (3) measuring a post polishing depth of the polishing scribe mark; and (4) continuing to polish the surface of the test housing until the measured post polishing depth of the polishing scribe mark is determined to be equal to the maximum removal depth specified for the production style housing.

"In another embodiment an automatic polishing mechanism for polishing a spline-shaped housing is disclosed. The spline shaped housing has a varying radius of curvature. The automatic polishing mechanism includes at least the following components: (1) a polishing tool; (2) a scribe mark generator; (3) a data store configured to store polishing instructions and a reference datum for the spline shaped housing; and (4) a processor coupled to the polishing tool, the scribe mark generator, and the data store. Prior to polishing the spline shaped housing, the processor uses the scribe mark generator to mark portions of the spline shaped housing with scribe marks. The scribe marks are indicative of a desired polishing depth and are provided by the polishing instructions. The processor controls the polishing tool in accordance with the polishing instructions using real time feedback of material removed from the spline shaped housing.

"In yet another embodiment, a non-transient computer readable medium for storing computer code executable by a processor in a computer aided manufacturing system is disclosed. The non-transient computer readable medium is useful for calibrating a polishing operation for a spline-shaped housing. The spline shaped housing has a varying radius of curvature. The non-transient computer readable medium includes at least the following: (1) computer code for placing at least one polishing scribe mark in a surface of a test housing having dimensions in accordance with a production style housing, the at least one polishing scribe mark having a depth deeper than a maximum material removal depth for the production style housing; (2) computer code for polishing the surface of the test housing including the polishing scribe mark; (3) computer code for measuring a post polishing depth of the polishing scribe mark; and (4) computer code for continuing to polish the surface of the test housing until the measured post polishing depth of the polishing scribe mark is determined to be equal to the maximum removal depth specified for the production style housing."

For additional information on this patent, see: Lancaster-Larocque, Simon R. Scribing for Polishing Process Validation. U.S. Patent Number 8814632, filed June 24, 2012, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8814632.PN.&OS=PN/8814632RS=PN/8814632

Keywords for this news article include: Apple Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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