Now You Know

The Material That Changed The World

It’s used in the Ford F-150, the unibody case of the MacBook Pro is made of a single block of it, and the Leica SL is also machined from a solid block of it. What is it? Aluminum.

Aluminum played its part in revolutionizing manufacturing. Engineers could now design and build engines, airplanes, home appliances, laptops, smartphones and even cameras that are both tough and yet relatively light–all thanks to aluminum’s light weight, structural strength and thermal characteristics.

There is an unmistakable feel of ultimate quality about a product made from a solid block of aluminum. We feel it when we pick up a MacBook Pro, iPhone or the Leica SL. Rumors have it that the iPhone may replace its aluminum chassis with an all-glass one. Though that may look cool at first, the toughness factor may be lost and there is the risk that people will be wary of dropping and shattering their all-glass iPhone–as though that does not happen often enough already with Apple products.

I hope more camera manufacturers consider aluminum in their design and manufacturing. Can you not already see a full-featured beautiful compact retro rangefinder-styled mirrorless made of aluminum–but without the hefty price of a Leica–becoming the next icon product featured in all movies and documentaries?