The big construction equipment show ConExpo-Con/Agg is teaming up with a group of students and engineers to display the world’s first 3D-printed excavator.
The display will show the first large scale use of steel in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. The excavator project is a collaboration between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation.
The group is working with engineers and researchers at Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota to convert current excavator designs into one that is conducive to 3D printing.
The Georgia Tech students are developing the boom and bucket for the excavator, while the team in Minnesota is designing a hydraulic oil reservoir, heat exchanger and cooling system that will be integrated into the fabrication of the machine.
Additionally, the group is inviting students from around the country to submit designs for the cab of the excavator. Entries can be submitted on the CCEFP website. The winning team will receive a $2,000 cash prize and the opportunity to visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to watch the printing of the selected design.
ConExpo-Con/Agg will be held March 7-11, 2017 in Las Vegas and the entire Equipment World team will be on hand providing coverage.