3D Printer HardwareAdditive ManufacturingMetal Additive Manufacturing

Xerox’s liquid metal 3D printer now has a name: ElemX

First system to be installed at Naval Postgraduate School

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Xerox appears to be closer to commercially releasing the liquid metal 3D printer it has been working on since it acquired the startup Vader systems. The company released a new video where it also, for the first time, revealed the name of the upcoming system: ElemX. The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) will be the first institution to receive a Xerox ElemX Liquid Metal Printer as part of a collaboration focused on advancing additive manufacturing research

The Xerox solution will provide NPS faculty and students with hands-on exploration of new ways the technology can deliver on-demand 3D printing of metal parts and equipment.

“The military supply chain is among the most complex in the world, and NPS understands first-hand the challenges manufacturers must address,” said Xerox Chief Technology Officer Naresh Shanker. “This collaboration will aid NPS in pushing adoption of 3D printing throughout the U.S. Navy, and will provide Xerox valuable information to help deliver supply chain flexibility and resiliency to future customers.”

elemx ny xerox

With access to the latest additive manufacturing equipment, NPS faculty and students will use the ElemX printer to conduct thesis research to develop new capabilities for the Navy and Marine Corps.

“As the Department of the Navy’s applied research university, NPS combines student operational experience with education and research to deliver innovative capabilities and develop innovative leaders with the know-how to use them,” said NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. “This collaborative research effort with Xerox and the use of their 3D printing innovations is a great example of how NPS uniquely prepares our military students to examine novel approaches to create, make, prototype and manufacture capability wherever they are.”

“From the age of sail to the nuclear era, sailors have been fixing things at sea so they can complete the mission,” she continued. “This partnership is about the strategic ability of the Navy to have sailors on ships with the capability through creativity and technology to advance their operations at sea. Through collaboration, NPS and Xerox are helping build a Navy for the 21st Century.”

The Xerox ElemX printer uses cost-effective aluminum wire to fabricate end-use parts that can withstand the rigors of operational demands. This ability to produce reliable replacement parts on-demand reduces the dependency on complex global supply chains for deployed forces and also addresses the hidden costs of traditional manufacturing.

“The NPS Alumni Association and Foundation-supported bringing the ElemX liquid metal printer to NPS because it will enable soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to solve their problems where they are, when problems occur,” noted retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Todd Lyons, vice president of the NPS Alumni Association and Foundation. “By providing the right digital tools and the liquid metal printer, all of a sudden we’ve helped transform not just the supply chain, but how the Department of Defense (DoD) thinks operationally about supplying war.”

“This is one way to bend the cost curve so that the DoD is not spending a thousand dollars for every dollar that a peer competitor spends,” he added.

“Global supply chains leave industries like aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, and oil and gas vulnerable to external risks,” said Tali Rosman, vice president and general manager, 3D Printing, Xerox. “Our goal is to integrate localized 3D printing into their operations, and the real-time feedback from NPS gives us actionable data to continuously improve the ElemX.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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