3D Technologies with Global Impact


Shaping the Future of Manufacturing

Manufacturers are looking for technology solutions that make their current operations more efficient and effective. Additive manufacturing (AM) promises a future where novel, cost-effective designs can have a dramatically positive economic and environmental impact.

Xerox has launched a new business in 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing – one of our critical pillars of innovation – because we recognize that AM technology can fundamentally revolutionize manufacturing and supply chains with respect to speed, resiliency, and total cost of ownership. PARC is working on the AI software, materials, and processes that integrate with hardware to produce high-quality production parts with integrity and density, creating a unique value proposition.

We strive to enable businesses and product designers to realize the value of AM without having to master everything there is to know about materials and processes.

The manufacturing world is undergoing a profound transformation based on new design technologies and the introduction of intricate new materials. It remains challenging for businesses to make informed decisions about where, when, and why AM is the right technology to invest in. Decision making pits the value proposition of AM against high costs of a) integrating AM technologies into global supply chains and b) acquiring specialized knowledge about coupled relationships between materials, processes, and designs. The difficulty in predicting quality and cost can slow adoption – and this is where PARC’s AI can really propel things forward.

Building the computational backbone for 21st century manufacturing

Knowing that industry leaders are focused on the Total Cost of Ownership, Xerox has emerged with an AM solution that is safer and easier to integrate into supply chains, and PARC is pushing technological boundaries to optimize the 3D printing process and enable all the benefits of AM. Overall, we provide a seamless path to AM-enabled, cost-effective, performance-optimized parts and assemblies with competitive materials.

The ingredients of our solution are shown in the workflow below.

By synchronizing process, structure, and product performance relationships we anticipate downstream issues early on. This avoids the need to print large batches to validate the move to AM, and helps predict the cost of adoption. In this way we span a wide range of products, ranging from printed replacement parts to lightweight, high-performance aerospace and automotive products that consolidate an assembly into a multi-functional part using innovative combinations of additive and traditional manufacturing.

Removing the obstacles to broader AM adoption

PARC has identified key problems that need to be solved in order to achieve the next generation of capabilities. To understand the cost implications of AM, we are building highly detailed representations of printed parts to analyze their internal structure.

  • We simulate the physics of AM processes to understand how coupled phenomena (e.g. fluid flow and heat transfer) interact to fabricate shapes.
  • We then invert this simulation, and using our deep expertise in materials and manufacturing, determine the best processes and machine parameters required to build high quality parts and assemblies.
  • The total cost of the manufacturing process will include AM and all downstream post-processing; we are building tools to consider the effects of subtractive post processing as well as truly interleaved additive and subtractive manufacturing to design and build next generation products.

Our approach to AI-assisted design synthesis is connecting all these techniques to conceive compact, material-saving, high performance designs.

Unparalleled experience and expertise

Over the last decade, PARC has won several highly competitive awards from government agencies such as DARPA, ARPA-E, ONR, AFRL, and others, to conduct cutting-edge research in digital design and manufacturing that has resulted in a rich portfolio of foundational intellectual property. Our deep, inter-disciplinary, world-class R&D expertise in hardware and printing technologies, computer-aided design/ manufacturing/ engineering, materials design and processing, and artificial intelligence gives us the differentiating advantage needed to close technological gaps preventing widespread adoption of AM as a mature manufacturing process across global supply chains.

PARC’s research will yield the technology of choice to fabricate next generation designs. We are excited to invent this future.