Apple could be 3D printing its new iPhone cases

Versus imafe with iPhone 14 Pro and implied iPhone 15
(Image credit: Future | Apple)

Apple is reportedly testing 3D printers to make some of its steel frames used for upcoming devices.

Apple’s higher-end models currently use steel as part of their chassis, including some Apple Watches and the Pro variants of iPhones. Cheaper models instead use lighter aluminum, and the Apple Watch Ultra goes for more premium titanium, which is expected to benefit from 3D printing as early as next year.

Now, citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg has reported that testing is underway in a move that could represent a significant step toward Apple’s environmental goals.

Apple 3D printing

Opting to 3D print parts that would otherwise be cut from metal would help to reduce waste and speed up the process, allowing Apple to deliver more units amid strong demand for its products.

It would also allow the tech giant to use recycled materials in its production - it has previously committed to sourcing recycled aluminum and steel for its enclosures.

The company has confirmed that it will be hosting its fall event on September 12, where it is expected that the next generations of iPhones and Apple Watches will be revealed.

We asked Apple to confirm or comment on the speculations, but the company did not immediately respond. According to CNBC, the process is first being tested for the Apple Watch Series 9 which is likely to be revealed in a couple of weeks, but it may later expand to more devices if successful. 

With the big day closing in, the Internet is not short of rumors about what we may expect at the event. Alongside new models, some have also suggested that Apple could be phasing out its leather iPhone case in favor of a vegan alternative.

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With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!