Xerox announced that the ElemX, its metal 3D printer, has been installed aboard the US Navy, the USS Essex (LHD 2). This is the first-ever metal 3D printer installation on board a US Naval vessel. The U.S. Navy has announced the installation of the machine as part of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) research, and testing is scheduled to take place as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.

The ElemX 3D printer was placed on board at the beginning of July this year. at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and sea trials began immediately thereafter. The US Navy is implementing a strategy of using additive manufacturing to increase the operational readiness of the fleet.

ElemX uses Xerox liquid metal 3D printing technology based on standard aluminum wire. Unlike other metal 3D printing technologies, ElemX does not use metal powders, and there is no need for special modifications on board ships or implementing special PPE to operate machinery. The 3D printer also does not require special post-processing, thus ensuring a shorter production time of the final parts. To withstand the various maritime states and environmental challenges faced by US Navy ships, the ElemX was installed in an industrial shipping container.

ElemX will be used for the production of spare parts and repairs. The tests currently underway will establish operational guidelines and technical feasibility studies to define applications and use cases. The team on board USS Essex will design and print deck components and provide feedback to the NPS and the Naval Surface Force Pacific commander.

Photo: (press materials / all rights reserved)

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