CONEXPO-CON/AGG is an internationally known convention that showcases the latest and greatest construction equipment and technologies every three years. Originally formed as CONEXPO in 1909, the event merged with the International Concrete and Aggregates show in 1996, thus the current hyphenated name. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 7-11, 2017.
The tradition of highlighting the newest and most innovative equipment will certainly live on at the 2017 exposition, as they have formally announced the unveiling of the World’s first 3D printed and, more importantly, fully functional excavator. Not only will attendees be able to see the finished 3D printed machine, they’ll also be able to witness a second one being printed right before their eyes.
There are several groups working together to make this project a reality, including: Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The group is also enlisting the help of a group of Graduate engineering students from both the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech to make sure the current excavator design can be built as efficiently as possible. The Georgia Tech students will be designing the boom and bucket, while the Minnesota students will be designing the hydraulic oil reservoir/heat exchanger and cooling system. The group of organizations hopes that this collaboration will help make the machine smaller and lighter.
If this sounds cool to you and you want to find a way to get involved, you’re in luck, as long as you’re an engineering student. The group has issued an open invitation to students to submit their designs of a “futuristic” cab and a human-machine interface. Designs can be submitted by going to the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power’s website. If your team wins, you’ll be rewarded a cash prize of $2,000 and a trip to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to see your design be printed.
If you’re just interested in learning more about 3D printed projects happening around the world, check out our other articles on the subject by clicking here.
Full story: World’s First 3-D Printed Excavator on Display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE | CON EXPO-CON/AG
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Augmented and Virtual Reality has always been designated for large headsets. Even with recent developments in the construction industry, like Microsoft Hololens and the DAQRI Smart Helmet, if you want to experience AR, you have to get used to wearing something you’re not used to around a job site. As cool as both of those technologies are, it seems that the ole trusty smartphones and tablets have been overlooked. A Danish BIM company has developed a smartphone and tablet application that leaves the headsets behind.
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.
Do you own Bosch Cordless Power Tools? Is it time for a battery upgrade? Take a look at Bosch’s new CORE 18V batteries. They have gone in and completely revamped their 18V batteries! They are now smaller, lighter, more powerful, have a longer life, and allow for more cuts and drives. Bosch has been able to achieve all of these benefits while also delivering corded performance in high-load applications.
The 2017 Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium (NPS) was held last week at Milwaukee’s headquarters and it proved to be a whirlwind of new products and information from the red brand. Over 80 new tools and accessories, which will be released throughout the remainder of 2017, were presented to dozens of media representatives, including construction magazines, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and your favorite construction blog (Construction Junkie, obviously).
After flooding our social media pages with Milwaukee information and gathering our thoughts from the event, we’ve come up with our 9 biggest takeaways from the event, in no particular order.
After recently announcing the release of a bunch of new Bluetooth enabled tools and products, as well as an inventory platform, DeWalt has jumped all-in on internet connected construction sites with the announcement of Construction Site WiFi. Construction sites, especially large complex sites, are becoming more and more reliant on internet connectivity to efficiently manage their projects. This is great news for all of you who count on a consistent internet connection to use programs like Procore, PlanGrid, and Bluebeam, among others, to communicate between different parties on the job site and in the office.