Apple plans to incorporate 3D printing technology into the production of Series 9 Apple Watches.

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Apple’s Move Towards 3D Printed Watches

In a previous blog post, we shared the rumor that Apple may be embracing 3D printing technology for its upcoming series of Apple Watches. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities known for accurately predicting Apple’s trends, revealed that the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra would incorporate 3D printed titanium mechanical parts. Recent news from Bloomberg has now confirmed that Apple is indeed testing the production of the new Apple Watch Series 9 with a case made of 3D printed metal.

The concept of 3D printing consumer goods has been steadily gaining attention, with toys, sandals, and even musical instruments being manufactured using this innovative technology. However, when a tech giant like Apple adopts 3D printing, it is bound to have a significant impact. According to reports, Apple has been secretly testing 3D printing for several years and is now on the verge of launching the next-generation Apple Watch that will be produced using additive manufacturing.

So why has Apple chosen to make this shift to 3D printing? The answer lies in the numerous benefits offered by this manufacturing method. In terms of material usage, waste reduction, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and production speed, 3D printing proves to be a more efficient solution than traditional CNC methods. Additionally, this switch may also lead to a restructuring of Apple’s manufacturing structure, providing them with greater control and flexibility throughout the production cycle.

Apple has reportedly decided to utilize metal binder jetting, specifically with stainless steel, for the production of the Apple Watch Series 9. In this process, a thin layer of powdered material is deposited, followed by the printing of a binding agent layer by layer until the desired shape is formed through the fusion of the metal and binding agent. This approach significantly reduces the raw material requirements and enables a faster and more precise production process for Apple.

Once the printing is completed, the product goes through treatment and smoothing processes to achieve its final recognizable shape. It’s worth noting that the Bloomberg report clarifies that the AM (Additive Manufacturing) process will not be tested on the Apple Watch Ultra, as previously claimed, but rather on the Apple Watch Series 9. It is expected that the Apple Watch Series 9 will be unveiled in September, during Apple’s usual product launch cycle.

The interest surrounding Apple’s potential move into 3D printed watches is significant, as it signifies a huge step forward for additive technologies in mass production. The successful integration of 3D printing into the Apple Watch Series 9 might pave the way for Apple to expand this production method to more products in the coming years.

Binder jetting, the 3D printing technique chosen by Apple, allows for the simultaneous production of numerous objects in the same print, making it highly efficient. As we await further news, we would love to hear your thoughts on Apple’s foray into 3D printing. Leave us a comment below or share your opinion with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter to receive the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox. You can also find all our exciting videos on our YouTube channel.

*Cover Photo Credits: Apple

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