| Cult of Mac

Apple invents 3D printer for space-age Liquidmetal rapid prototypes


Space-age iPhone, coming soon to a 3D printer near you.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

On its journey to product perfection, Apple is well-known for its endless prototyping of the next iPhone, iMac or Apple Watch.

Now the company may add ultra-tough metal alloy Liquidmetal to the list of materials it can use to create these rapid prototypes, thanks to a cutting-edge 3D printer designed for the job.

Apple’s special gold isn’t so special after all


The gold in Apple's 18-karat watch is a standard gold alloy, not a miraculous gold/ceramic mix. Credit: Apple

All week, it’s been reported that Apple is using a “new gold” in the gold Apple Watch Edition. According to Bloomberg, Slate, Gizmodo and many others, Apple has patented a new process to create a “metal matrix composite” by mixing gold with ceramic particles.

The composite supposedly allows Apple to save on the amount of gold it uses, while making the substance super-hard and adding other amazing properties.

But according to Atakan Peker, a materials scientist and one of the co-inventors of Liquidmetal, which Apple holds an exclusive license on, it’s extremely unlikely Apple is using any kind of “new gold” for its watches.

He knows this because Jony Ive says so.

Leaked iPhone 6 photos reveal protruding camera and other details



A new set of leaked iPhone 6 photos from luxury iPhone upgraders Feld & Volk reveal that Apple’s next handset may come with recessed volume buttons, a protruding camera lens, and an embeddable Apple logo that might be made of Liquidmetal.

The iPhone 6 is expected to be unveiled next month, but a plethora of leaks flooding out of Shenzhen have already given fanboys an idea what to expect, and these new photos add a few more pieces to the puzzle with details on how Apple will slim the profile of the device and make your shiny Apple logo scratch-resistant.

Take a look at the allegedly leaked parts below:

How Liquidmetal Home Buttons Could Finally Fix The iPhone’s Achilles Heel



We’ve been waiting for years for Apple to start using Liquidmetal in its products. The company has an exclusive licensing agreement to use the space-age alloy in its products, but until now, the only thing made by Apple of Liquidmetal is the SIM Ejector tool for the iPhone.

That’s not stopping Apple from dreaming about exciting new uses for their T-1000 alloy,, though. New patents from Apple published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggest that future pressure sensors, like the home button, could be made of Liquidmetal.

Apple Starts Patenting Ways To Make iPhones & iPads Out Of Liquidmetal


Liquid metal could make your next iPhone silky smooth and incredibly strong.

Apple has the exclusive license to liquidmetal, prompting all sorts of speculation that we would sooner or later see liquid metal iPhones, iPads and Macs. Despite this, so far, we’ve only seen Apple release one “product” using liquidmetal: the iPhone SIM ejector tool.

But Apple’s liquidmetal plans might be gearing up. The company has just filed five new patents, explaining the process by which it would use liquidmetal to build next-gen smartphones, tablets and digital displays.

The iWatch Could Be Made Of Liquidmetal



Apple has had an exclusive contract to use the next-gen Liquidmetal alloy for almost three years now. Theoretically, Liquidmetal could allow Apple to realize thinner, lighter, more resilient devices… but the Liquidmetal fabrication process is hard to work with, which is why, so far, we’ve only seen one actual Liquidmetal Apple product: the SIM removal tool that ships with every iPhone!

But it looks like Apple might have finally cracked the problem. And they are eyeing Liquid Metal for use in the iWatch.

Don’t Expect A Liquidmetal MacBook Or iPhone From Apple For Several Years


Liquidmetal iPhone concept by NAK Studio • http://bit.ly/ITBqrf
Liquidmetal iPhone concept by NAK Studio • http://bit.ly/ITBqrf

Rumors have been flying about Apple’s next-gen iPhone featuring a liquidmetal alloy casing, unlike the glass backing that currently cradles the iPhone 4 and 4S’s precious internals. Liquidmetal would assumedly create a lighter iPhone that’s also more durable and scratch resistant. There’s also been rumors that the next-gen MacBooks will be made of liquidmetal, but no hard evidence has surfaced to support the speculation.

Two years ago Apple bought exclusive rights to use material from Liquidmetal Technologies in its products, but we have yet to see a liquidmetal iPhone. The only liquidmetal material to be incorporated was the pin used for ejecting the iPhone 3G SIM card. Will 2012 be the year Apple’s product line goes liquidmetal? Sadly, the odds don’t look good.

Purported iPhone 5 SIM Tray Crushes Our Dreams Of A Liquidmetal iPhone


Is this really an iPhone 5 SIM tray, or did someone hit the wrong key?
Is this really an iPhone 5 SIM tray, or did someone hit the wrong key?

Many of us are dreaming of a liquidmetal casing for the next iPhone which will sport a tapered, teardrop design that will help make the sixth-generation device thinner than its predecessor. However, a SIM tray that is believed to be destined for the new device suggests it could feature a box-like design similar to the iPhone 4S.

Next MacBooks Will Be Made Of Liquidmetal, USB 3.0 Compatible [Rumor]


Back to black: your next MacBook could be made of LiquidMetal
Back to black: your next MacBook could be made of Liquidmetal

Yesterday, we heard an analyst report suggesting that Apple would effectively kill off the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines and merge then into a single, streamlined device known only as the MacBook.

It was an interesting report, but analysts say a lot of things, including sometimes when they are at the bottom of a barrel of bourbon. But now Mactrast is saying that their own unproven source is echoing reports of a MacBook Pro/MacBook Air hybrid… boasting USB 3.0 support and a sexy, lightweight Liquidmetal chassis.