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