Apple is testing 3D printers to make the steel frames of some of its upcoming smartwatches, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The production technique would render obsolete the need to cut parts of metal into the product’s shape, reducing the time it takes to make the devices and also helping the environment, according to the report.
The approach has the potential to streamline Apple’s supply chain and if the tests with the Apple watches are successful, the company will look to use the technology on more products over the next several years, the report added.
Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters request for a comment.
The company also plans to apply the process to its titanium Ultra watch, but the shift isn’t planned until 2024, the report said.
Apple is set to host their fall event on Sept. 12, where analysts believe the world’s most valuable company will unveil a new line of smartwatches and iPhones.