Apple Exploring 3D Printing in Device Manufacturing

Apple Exploring 3D Printing in Device Manufacturing

Apple is exploring the potentials of 3D printing for crafting the framework of its forthcoming Apple Watch Series 9 update, based on insights from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. This innovative method promises reduced material consumption compared to the extensive metal blocks required by conventional CNC manufacturing. This also suggests swifter production timelines.

Apple employs a "binder jetting" method, which facilitates the 3D printing of the device's structure using powdered materials. Subsequently, a combination of heat and pressure morphs this material into a steel-like consistency, followed by a refining stage through milling.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst known for Apple insights, had previously indicated that the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra would feature parts made using 3D printing, emphasizing Apple's growing interest in this technology. He hinted at the incorporation of 3D printed titanium elements in the new edition of the Apple Watch Ultra.

However, Gurman asserts that Apple's focus is on employing this 3D printing approach primarily for the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 9 casings. By 2024, the company aims to extend this method to titanium gadgets. This shift could enhance Apple's production efficiency and might lead to cost reductions.

If the 3D printed 2023 Apple Watch models meet Apple's standards, this technology might see more widespread use across other devices. As Gurman confirms, this 3D printing technique, under Apple's scrutiny for over three years, may span across a broader range of products, contingent on its success with the Apple Watch tests.

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