On the heels of Vertex Manufacturing, the next research institute that will explore the capabilities of Xerox® ElemX™ 3D metal printer is the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
As a reminder, the ElemX leverages Liquid Metal AM that uses cost-effective aluminum wire. It does not require any special facility modifications for operation. Unlike many metal 3D printing technologies, the ElemX requires minimal post-processing and therefore provides a faster time-to-part. The metal 3D printing technology addresses supply chain resiliency for transportation, aerospace, defense and industrial manufacturing – becoming this way an interesting option for spares, repairs and low-volume production parts.
Speaking of aluminum 3D printing, Xerox® Elem™ Additive Solutions says there are no hazardous metal powders with ElemX and no need for PPE or other considerable safety measures.
“ORNL has a long history of working with industry on alloy deployment and the improvement of material performance in AM,” said Ryan Dehoff, section head for secure and digital manufacturing at ORNL. “This process is promising for high-volume applications such as automotive; leveraging our experience with alloy development will help us expand the available number of alloys and applications.”
According to Dehoff, ORNL applies its science capabilities to solve challenges in AM by improving performance characteristics, optimizing systems and software to achieve mainstream manufacturing, developing qualification frameworks to create born-certified components and developing a comprehensive understanding of process capabilities and limitations through physics-based simulation and advanced characterization. Researchers at MDF work with hundreds of industrial partners to advance the state of the art in AM and open up new avenues for exploration.
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