Mar 28, 2016 | By Alec

There is something unusual about many engineers, who love tearing sophisticated machinery apart as much as they enjoy building it. To be fair, we’ve taken apart the occasional old computer as well, and it’s a fascinating – if somewhat challenging – project for a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you’ve ever been in that situation yourself, you’ll have seen that it is almost impossible to open up a CPU / remove heatsink. While various online tutorials are circulating, usually involving a hammer/chisel combination or a heat source, a team of Japanese makers has simply 3D printed a CPU opening tool that has made CPU opening easier than ever before.

With the tool, they are actually building on something of a tradition among Japanese makers. Years ago, it became something of a trend to open up the earliest Intel CPUs to verify the quality of the original heat sink material and to study (and perhaps even improve) its contents. You might have tried it yourself to separate Die heatsink at the time. But the result has been that each generation of processors have been meticulously attacked by Japanese makers and students, who wanted to seperate Die IHA and check them out. A dangerous hobby, as processors are very sophisticated objects that are very easily damaged when opened.

This has resulted in various tricks and techniques for getting in there, but a team of makers from a store in Japan's Akihabara area (sometimes seen as the world’s premier nerdy shopping district), has now found a clever way to open the newest Intel Skylake processor: a 3D printed opener / heatsink remover.

So how does it work? Well, it’s essentially a two-part tool that encapsulates the CPU from top to bottom. Just place the Skylake processor face up in the middle. Clasp the top half on, and insert the screwdrivers in both sides of the contraption. By applying a lot of force to the screwdrivers, you can theoretically twist the lid off without the need for any dangerous sharp blades or other tools.

Theoretically, that is. The Japanese makers tested it with a cheaper Pentium G4400 CPU for their initial experiment. As the seal between the two CPU parts was very strong, it was also heated with a heat gun for three to five minutes. The ‘Hercules’ in your team can then apply all of his power to twist it off. If at first you don’t succeed, they suggest using a heat gun a second time. But it did work!

Of course, this isn’t a fool proof technique either. The method comes with its own risks, as the processors can be broken in the process – even the 3D printed opener can snap first. But it is certainly the safest of all options around. If you’re interested, you’ll unfortunately have to redesign the tool for yourself. The tool is a unique contraption that took about twelve hours to 3D print, and there are no plans for selling or sharing it. But then again, if you’re mad enough to open a CPU, mimicking this tool shouldn’t be much of a barrier either.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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C. L. wrote at 4/4/2016 7:39:01 PM:

Don't be too hard on them. If you visit the Japanese site the photos are from, at the bottom of the page, they posted a URL to what seems to be the source, Aquacomputer: Aquacomputer also has a link to their STL on Thingiverse:

3doer wrote at 3/30/2016 11:42:29 AM:

Not sharing? Would that be so difficult? Pfff...

Christoph wrote at 3/29/2016 10:45:46 AM:

Clever.. Yes. Hm.... First? (4 month ago) and that one is available as download :) Cheers

Tom wrote at 3/29/2016 5:01:44 AM:

Bastards! Information wants to be free. Make it public

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