Friday, November 8, 2013

3D printed screwdriver

Apple decided that they were going to create a pain point discouraging its customers from changing their own batteries by using five pointed screws that require a special pentalobe screwdriver for its macbook air and iphones. This isn't their first 'security screw' try. They vastly enlarged the market for torx drivers in previous product cycles and now that too many have those drivers in their toolkit, they've moved on.

Only one thing is going to stop this annoyance, I believe. A simple process that will take a photo of a screw with whatever head on one end and spit out a screwdriver to open up that screw on the other. Once 3D printers routinely, quickly, and easily defeat these screws, maybe we can get beyond the idea of sealed units that manufacturers make hard to open on purpose.