Apple's Groundbreaking Move: 3D Printing for Smartwatch Chassis -Electronicsinfos

Apple's Groundbreaking Move: 3D Printing for Smartwatch Chassis

    Apple's Groundbreaking Move: 3D Printing for Smartwatch Chassis -Electronicsinfos

    Apple Inc. is up to something big! According to a report by Bloomberg Mark Gurman, the tech giant is exploring the use of 3D printers to create the steel chassis for its upcoming smartwatches. This is a big change in how Apple makes its devices.

    So, what's the buzz about? Well, instead of cutting big pieces of metal into the shape they need, Apple might use 3D printers to make the smartwatch chassis. This could speed up the manufacturing process and also help save materials, which is good for the environment. The people who shared this information wanted to keep it a secret, so they asked to stay anonymous.

    This new way of making things could really improve how Apple gets its products to you and might change how they make other stuff too. If it works well for Apple Watches, they might use it for other products in the future.

    Now, let's talk about how this 3D printing thing works. They use a method called "binder jetting" to make the basic shape of the smartwatch. It's almost the right size, which is why they call it "near net shape." They use a special kind of powder, and then they heat it up and squish it to turn it into something like regular steel. After that, they do some precise cutting to make it look just right, kind of like how they used to do it.

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    What is binder jetting?

    Binder jetting is a 3D printing technology used to create three-dimensional objects by layering material, typically a powdered substance, and binding it together with a liquid binder. Here's a simple explanation of how binder jetting works
    1. Layer by Layer
    2. Powder Bed
    3. Inkjet Printing
    4. Layer After Layer
    5. Finishing

    Layer by Layer

    Like many 3D printing methods, binder jetting builds objects layer by layer. It starts with a digital 3D model of the object you want to create.

    Powder Bed

    The printing process begins with a thin layer of powdered material (usually metal, plastic, or ceramics) spread evenly across a build platform. This forms the base of the object.

    Inkjet Printing

    An inkjet print head moves over the powder bed, depositing a liquid binder in specific areas. The binder acts like glue, sticking the powder particles together in the shape of the current layer as determined by the digital model.

    Layer After Layer

    After each layer is completed, the build platform is lowered slightly, and a new layer of powder is spread on top. The inkjet print head repeats the process, selectively binding the powder to create the next layer of the object.


    Once the entire object is printed layer by layer, it is typically removed from the excess powder, cleaned, and may undergo additional post-processing steps like sintering (heating at high temperatures) to strengthen the object and remove excess binder.

    The result is a 3D-printed object that closely resembles the shape and dimensions of the digital model. Binder jetting is known for its speed and ability to produce complex and intricate parts. It's used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and healthcare, to create a wide range of products, from prototypes and custom components to final production parts.

    Apple has been working on this idea with its partners for at least three years, but they've been really serious about it lately. They've been testing it on the steel cases for the new Apple Watch Series 9, which is going to be announced on September 12. This new watch is going to be faster and come in some new colours, but it will mostly look like the ones before.

    What's interesting is that Apple has done things like this before. They added steel frames to the iPhone a couple of years after they started using them in the Apple Watch. And this year, they're planning to use a material called titanium in their top-end iPhones, just like they did in the Apple Watch Ultra last year.

    So, in a nutshell, Apple is thinking about using 3D printers to make their smartwatches, which could make things faster and greener. And if it goes well, they might do it for other stuff too. Stay tuned for more news on September 12 when they reveal the new Apple Watch Series 9!

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