Apple has reportedly been in search of methods to include 3D printing into its product design and manufacturing for some time, and a brand new report signifies that the time has arrived for the corporate to make it part of the method for not less than considered one of its merchandise, the upcoming Apple Watch Sequence 9.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg says Apple has selected its first use of 3D printing as a type of a take a look at run, 3D printing the chassis of not less than some fashions of this 12 months’s Apple Watch lineup.
In accordance with Gurman’s sources, Apple is testing the manufacturing of 3D printers to provide the stainless-steel chassis for some Apple Watch Sequence 9 items. This might mark an enormous change in the best way Apple creates the part, as the strategy would take away the necessity to machine giant slabs of steel into the mandatory form.
Gurman’s report says the transfer ought to enhance the velocity of product meeting whereas additionally lowering its environmental impression. His report goes into element concerning the course of that will likely be used, which known as “binder jetting.”
The print is made with a powdered substance, which afterward goes via a course of referred to as sintering. That makes use of warmth and stress to squeeze the fabric into what seems like conventional metal. The precise design and cutouts are then milled like within the earlier course of.Mark Gurman
Not all Apple Watch Sequence 9 fashions will likely be manufactured utilizing the brand new 3D printing course of; Apple is anticipated to restrict the take a look at run to pick stainless-steel fashions.
This isn’t the primary time we’ve heard about Apple contemplating 3D printing in its Apple Watch manufacturing. In July, Apple trade analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated the 3D printing course of is also used to fabricate the Apple Watch Extremely 2.
Kuo stated an Apple provide chain survey indicated that “Apple is actively adopting 3D printing know-how,” including that “Among the titanium mechanical components of the 2H23 new Apple Watch Extremely will likely be made by 3D printing.”
Kuo says the parts that could possibly be manufactured with 3D printing embody the Aspect Button, Motion Button, and Digital Crown. The titanium parts are at present produced utilizing a CNC machine.
Nonetheless, Gurman says his sources inform him that the Extremely watch casing itself gained’t be manufactured utilizing a 3D printing course of till the 2024 Extremely mannequin on the earliest.
Apple’s use of 3D printing know-how has the potential to shorten manufacturing time whereas additionally lowering prices. If the preliminary experiments go nicely, Kuo believes Apple will undertake 3D printing know-how for extra merchandise sooner or later.
Apple will unveil its new Apple Watch Sequence 9 and Apple Watch Extremely 2 wearables on the iPhone 15 “Wonderlust” media occasion that will likely be held on Tuesday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The occasion will likely be held on the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]