Xerox recently announced the release of a new 3D liquid metal printer, ElemX. According to the company, this new 3D printing technology is able to overcome some of the current challenges associated with powder-based printers.
The new printer uses cost-effective aluminum wire to fabricate end-use parts that can withstand harsh operating environments. Xerox believes this capability will help to improve supply chains by enabling replacement parts to be produced on-demand.
There are three main advantages which Xerox says its liquid metal technology provides manufacturers:
- Total Cost of Ownership — The technology reduces manufacturers’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) compared with traditional production methods.
- Off-the-Shelf — Use of aluminum wire instead of powder delivers a quicker cycle time while eliminating costly safety modifications required for powder-based technologies.
- Material Properties — Production-grade technology delivers results as good or better than traditional manufacturing methods.
Xerox is partnering with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to research how the ElemX printer can be used to provide on-demand 3D printing of metal parts and equipment. Being able to quickly print parts could greatly benefit the military which often has to work under a sense of urgency. Being able to get a critical part in a timely manner could also benefit to the safety of military personnel who may be working in dangerous locations and cannot wait to receive a part.