Xerox has introduced its first liquid metal 3D printer, ElemX. The machine uses metal, specifically aluminium, wires that are melted layer by layer to produce the final part. There are hopes to appeal to the aerospace, automotive, marine, and oil & gas industries. Already, the Naval Postgraduate School in California has commissioned a machine as part of a new collaborative research project into the applications for 3D printing for the U.S. Navy.
Currently the majority of metal additive manufacturing processes use powders to design more or less complex parts. These materials can represent a risk both for the user’s health and safety. Accordingly, Xerox placed their bets on a machine that relies on metal wire rather than powder.