In 2019, Xerox (NYSE: XRX) made the decision to purchase Vader Systems, the startup known for its liquid metal 3D printers. The company began commercializing the technology last year as the ElemX Liquid Metal Printer, which offers a more consistent aluminum 3D printing solution by using cost-effective wire that requires less post-processing and speeds up the manufacturing process. Today, Xerox Elem Additive Solutions announced that it’s entered into an agreement with Ohio-based industrial manufacturer Vertex Manufacturing – A PrinterPrezz Company to provide aluminum 3D printing to its customers.
Vertex was co-founded by metal additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Greg Morris and acquired by medical device manufacturer PrinterPrezz in October 2021. It now plans to offer liquid metal contract manufacturing services and will be installing the Xerox ElemX 3D printer at its Cincinnati facility.
“The relationship with Vertex enables our Elem Additive business to scale and support our customers better than before. Between the two organizations, there are decades of experience in advanced manufacturing, so we are thrilled to push the limits of this technology together,” said Xerox Elem Additive General Manager and Vice President Tali Rosman.
Since the introduction of the printer, Elem Additive Solutions, which works to develop supply chain solutions with distributed manufacturing and digital warehousing technologies, has been growing, first by opening up an Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in North Carolina and now this new contract manufacturing partnership with Vertex. The liquid metal ElemX system is easy to utilize, as it doesn’t need any special facility modifications to be used and offers a quicker time-to-part because of its reduced post-processing.
By integrating Xerox’s ElemX 3D printer to its advanced manufacturing portfolio, Vertex will be better equipped to scale and support its industrial customer base. Likewise, the company is now an important member of the Xerox Elem Additive Solutions Manufacturing Partner Network.
“Our business is committed to delivering products and services that meet or exceed our customers’ quality and schedule requirements. We decided to partner with Xerox because the ElemX technology gives us an added advantage to build parts faster and more reliably for our customers,” stated Tim Warden, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Vertex.
Because it uses off-the-shelf wire instead of powder, Xerox’s proprietary ElemX liquid metal technology is easier and safer to use for customers in need of consistent and reliable 3D printed aluminum parts. Metal powder is more hazardous, so users won’t need to worry about wearing any PPE while they’re handling the aluminum wires that the ElemX uses, which are also far less expensive because they’re off-the-shelf—making the 3D printer a good choice for repairs, spare components, and low-volume production parts. Plus, liquid metal has a number of interesting applications, such as flexible and regular electronics and antennas, so Vertex could take this opportunity to truly expand its horizons.
Rosman said, “ElemX takes all the benefits of 3D printing and makes it easier than ever before for manufacturers to use metal additive manufacturing. This is the next step in our journey, and we plan to continue advancing our vision for more resilient supply chains in 2022 working with partners like Vertex.”
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