At Apple I was part of an elite 5-man team that worked in tandem with the industrial design team to create new manufacturing processes that pushed the boundaries of how to make beautiful products. When Jony and the ID team wanted to create something that required new, innovative fabrication techniques, they called in the SMEs.
Our team would take nearly impossible design requirements from the Apple ID studio and kickoff R&D on how to take their ideas into factory-grade, mass-producible realities. We prototyped, cost reduced, and scaled CNC machining (before it was cool), laser cutting, microperforating laser drills, polishing processes; anything that was needed to make sure the final product was as perfect as the designers intended.
I still leverage the world-class experience I gained in manufacturing on a daily basis. My time at Apple, a fluid interplay between the world's best design studio and Chinese factories, was incredibly formative and continues to influence my work.