Xerox Outlines Strategy for Entering 3D-Printing Manufacturing Market

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Xerox is bringing Xerox-brand 3D printing closer to market – with product commercialization set to begin this year, as stated yesterday at its Investors Day Conference. Earlier this year, Xerox CEO John Visentin stated that the firm may be getting into the 3D printing market, as it posses its own 3D-printing technology that it’s not yet brought to market.

Back in October, Visentin had stated: “Our leading expertise in technology and printing uniquely positions us to move into adjacencies that share similar core technology requirements. For instance, we are developing a roadmap to participate in 3D printing. We currently manufacture 3D print heads that we OEM, where we have differentiated capabilities around print technologies, materials, toner and software that will enable 3D printing to move to the next level of adoption for the production of end-use industrial products.”

Xerox also published a new Web page dedicated to its 3D-printing initiative, noting “Xerox is constantly looking for new ways to deliver more value to our customers. We are leveraging our experience and expertise in digital printing to polymer and metal 3D printing technologies and will introduce new equipment, materials, services and design tools to the market.

“The results? Customers will be able to get complex parts delivered faster. Take advantage of unique materials to enhance performance. Lower costs. And optimize build volumes, part properties, and support structures with advanced design and planning tools.

“3D printing is poised to transform manufacturing. And we’re ready to lead the charge.”

Vader Acquisition

On February 5th at its Investor Day conference, Xerox announced that it’s acquiring Vader Systems as part of a strategy to enter the additive manufacturing 3D printing. Vader develops technology for 3D printing with liquid metals for high-volume production of metal parts.

Xerox also showcased 3D-printed plastic parts, metal parts, and powders. With its new strategy, Xerox would provide equipment, materials, and 3D-printing design software.

According to information presented by Xerox, the 3D-printing/digital manufacturing market is worth some $25 billion and has a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 25 percent. It stated however that the current offerings only serve the prototyping market, not broad manufacturing. It expects Xerox-developed, acquired, and partnered software, and material technologies to deliver the productivity, materials range, and cost and design tools to enable high-volume parts manufacturing.

Xerox will enter the 3D-printing production market with:

  • The Powered by Xerox GTM model.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) manufacturing software developed by Xerox’s PARC research center.
  • Low-cost 3D-metal printing with more metals with Vader acquisition.
  • 3D-printing related mergers and acquisitions and co-development.

This year, it expects its metals and plastics 3D printing to move into product commercialization.

Also of note is that Fuji Xerox, Xerox’s joint venture with Fujifilm, and from which it sources much of its equipment, also markets 3D printers for prototyping and manufacturing see here.

Vader Liquid-Metal 3D Printing

Vader’s patented Magnet-o-Jet technology is based on the manipulation of liquid metal through magnetism. MagnetoJet’s physics are accomplished by depositing Aluminum wire into a 1200°C ceramic chamber, where it’s formed into a molten state. This molten media is then electromagnetically pulsed, causing a droplet to form and eject with precision from a ceramic nozzle.

The first Vader System could deliver 1,000 droplets per second with micron-level accuracy while doubling the speed of conventional 3D powder bed metal printers.

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