The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on a patent that covers a 3D Printer that is able to add color to objects. Is Apple thinking of getting into the 3D printer market? Well, although it does seems like an odd move, Apple does give us the distinct impression in their granted patent that they at least have an interest in this market.
Apple notes in their patent that in order "To extend the use of 3D printers to more industries and encourage more household use, it may be desirable to improve the 3D printing technology to make objects that are more versatile and useful to an everyday consumer."
So it's not for an internal device for Jony Ive's secret design room as they reference the invention is for "an everyday consumer." More importantly, it's not an acquired patent because one of the inventors is noted as being Geoff Stahl who is Director of Apple's Software, Technology Development Group. In 2010 he was Senior Manager of Graphics & Imaging.
Granted Patent: 3D Printing of Colored Objects
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to techniques for three dimensional (3D) printing of objects. More particularly, the disclosure relates to improved techniques for efficiently producing versatile objects with a 3D printer.
While 3D printing technology has been around for many years, it has not until recent years that the printers have become widely available commercially. As a result of their wide availability, applications for 3D printing have been extended to architecture, construction, automotive, engineering, dental and medical industries. To extend the use of 3D printers to more industries and encourage more household use, it may be desirable to improve the 3D printing technology to make objects that are more versatile and useful to an everyday consumer.
Apple's patent FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate improved 3D printers for printing and coloring 3D objects.
Apple's granted patent 9,868,254 was originally filed in Q and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Today's 3D Printer patent is Apple's second win in this category. Apple's first patent win was covered in October 2017 in our report titled "Apple Wins a Patent for a Future 3D Printing System that works with Augmented Reality and AR Glasses.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or negative behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.