Apple is building a printer that makes “fabric” art, its first major foray into the new art medium.
The company is creating a “printed” version of a classic Japanese flower, a blue-tinged flower made from cotton and spun into a ball of yarn.
It’s not just a hobby project.
Apple says it wants to use the technology to make objects from “fabrics.”
The company will make “fabries that look like a real thing” that are designed to hold, bend and “turn” in three dimensions, according to the patent application.
The new printers “will be able to create fabric based art,” the company said.
“They’ll also be able print with fabric.”
Apple will offer “fabrized” art for $5 to $10 a pop, and the company is working with local artists to “implement their fabric-based creations in the public spaces, restaurants and retail spaces of cities around the world.”
Apple is a major backer of the “Fabric for Humanity” initiative, which aims to develop “a more sustainable future for the planet.”
“The goal is to build sustainable, low-cost and sustainable-based manufacturing, processing and assembly facilities, which will ultimately reduce global CO2 emissions by 50 percent,” the group said in a statement.
Apple is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of “fabricks,” and Apple is hoping to be a leader in the new manufacturing.
Apple has already made its own fabric, but its “fabriles” are “made from various materials that are sourced from sustainable, local sources,” the firm said.
Apple is partnering with local fabric companies to create new fabrics, including the one described in the patent.
Fabric will also be used for building products like iPhone cases, Apple says.
Apple is also working on 3D printing the “pigment,” which is “a light, flexible and lightweight material that can be used to create objects like flowers or fabric.”
Apple is working on printing the pigments “from different materials that can also be sourced from sustainably sourced sources, such as recycled materials, organic waste and the environment,” the statement said.
According to the application, Apple is “developing a printing process to fabricate pigments that are more flexible, lighter and more durable than current printed materials.”
Apple said the printing process would produce “fablicious, flexible, lightweight and sustainable materials” that “will also be made from various sources.”