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Xerox steps into 3D Printing space with Vader acquisition

Announces in a brief statement during 2019 Investor Day; the acquisition to target the vastly expanding additive/digital manufacturing industry.

Xerox announced during its 2019 Investor Day that it has acquired metal additive manufacturing company Vader Systems. The acquisition will allow it to offer low-cost metal additive manufacturing with more metals to its customers.

“It’s a modest acquisition but it’s a really, really important one for us,” Steve Hoover, Chief Technology Officer, Technology Development and Commercialization, Xerox, said during the 2019 Investor Day.

“The reality is today, a lot of the 3D printing that is done is for prototyping. When we look at this market, we’re going to come in with a differentiated set of technologies and solutions, and that’s the problem we’re focusing on.”

Founded in 2013, Vader Systems is a Getzville, New York-based machine tool manufacturer and developer of liquid metal additive manufacturing technology. Its offerings include the Magnet-o-Jet Subsystem for hybrid manufacturing equipment integration, the Vader Polaris liquid metal AM system and the Ares Microsphere Production System for the production of spherical metal powders.

Vader Systems’ home page is now redirected to Xerox’s site. The acquisition is part of Xerox’s innovations strategy which aims to access a Total Addressable Market (TAM) of $8 billion for additive/digital manufacturing. In 2016, Janos Veres, the leader of the PARC Novel and Printed Electronics Program at Xerox, had said that the company’s planned transformation would involve 3D printing and Industry 4.0 technologies. Then in 2017, PARC, was selected by US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, to develop “a new computational paradigm” that goes beyond the limitations of existing 3D design platforms.

Following this, John Visentin CEO of Xerox announced on an investor call last year that the company is “developing a roadmap to participate in 3D printing.”

During the Investor’s Day presentation, Xerox said that it intends to broaden the current offering of 3D printing,i.e., the prototyping market with the new acquisition.

Vader Systems’ patented Magnet-o-Jet 3D printing technology takes in metal wire feedstock that gets melted into a ceramic nozzle. This makes a small pool of about 2 grams. The metal is always molten in the nozzle and then electromagnetism is used to induce a current and a radial inward force that produces a droplet. This is done on each droplet using an electrical pulse at a rate of 1000 times a second, which results in a high deposition rate. The technology is integrated into the company’s first system, the MK1 Experimental metal 3D printer, and its three newer systems, the Vader Polaris, the Magnet-o-Jet Subsystem, and the Ares Microsphere Production System. This unique Magnet-o-Jet technology expands the range of conductive metals used within metal additive manufacturing.

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