US Navy under the US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) announced its collaboration with global print and digital document corporation Xerox exploring the potential for 3D printing to transform military supplies. NPS has installed Xerox ElemX Liquid Metal 3D printer.
ElemX is the name given to the Xerox metal 3D printing platform displaying Vader Systems at IMTS acquired by Xerox in 2019.
By using ElemX, NPS students and faculty staff can investigate how additive manufacturing industry will be able to capabilities for the US Navy.
“The military supply chain is among the most complex in the world, and NPS understands first-hand the challenges manufacturers must address,” said Naresh Shanker, Xerox Chief Technology Officer. “This collaboration will aid NPS in pushing adoption of 3D printing throughout the US Navy, and will provide Xerox valuable information to help deliver supply chain flexibility and resiliency to future customers.”
Xerox Input in 3D printing
Xerox is a globally known paper printing company, and has now entered into 3D printing sector as a part of reseller with intentions of “developing a roadmap to participate in 3D printing”.
Xerox recently acquired liquid metal jet 3D printer manufacturer Vader Systems. Later in the same year, company debuted in Formnext debut showcasing the development of polymer powders for SLS 3D printers and Multi Nozzle Extrusion high-speed FDM system.
Advancement in 3D printing
Xerox along with NPS engaged in Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with an aim to check new ways Xerox technology delivers on-demand 3D printing of metal parts for the US military.
“From the age of sail to the nuclear era, sailors have been fixing things at sea so they can complete the mission,” said NPS President, Ann Rondeau. “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.
The ElemX 3D printer by Xerox uses aluminum wire fabricating end-use parts to withstand operational demands. According to Todd Lyons, retired US Marine Corps Colonel and Vice President of the NPS Alumni Association and Foundation, “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,” he said. “By providing the right digital tools and the liquid metal printer, all of a sudden we’ve helped to transform not just the supply chain, but how the Department of Defense thinks operationally about supplying war.”
According to Tali Rosman, Xerox Vice President and General Manager, CRADA between Xerox and NPS will help in adoption 3D printing in different areas of US military, ““Global supply chains leave industries like aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, and oil and gas vulnerable to external risks,” he said. “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.