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
The construction industry has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies, but with a recent push from Silicon Valley, a lot of money is being poured into research and development. Just a few short years ago, robotics on the construction site was thought of as a pipe dream, but now there are several companies around the world that are making it a reality. It still may be years away from being adopted in a large scale, but the industry should begin to take note of the technological changes that are happening around them.
Robotics isn’t the only construction item that made headlines last year, there have also been advances in construction materials, Augmented and Mixed Reality, smart sensors, and RFIDs.
Below is our list of the best advances in construction technology from 2017:
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.
Several years ago, Microsoft released their introduction into the mixed reality headset market with the Microsoft HoloLens. The headset, which looks like a pair of bulky, futuristic sunglasses, was touted as a game changer to many different industries. After teaming up with Trimble to directly tackle the construction industry and developing a couple construction technologies for the headset, construction companies have still been extremely hesitant to try out the technology.
Consistent documentation is one of the keys to running a successful and productive job site, but if you’re still using pen and paper, you’re falling behind. There are several web-based applications available to help you manage and organize your reports and photos in the cloud, including Raken, which has recently updated their web and mobile applications.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
If you can believe it, we’re already in the middle of gift giving season as December is quickly approaching. Sorting through dozens of aisles in stores and hundreds of pages on line looking for that perfect gift for the construction professional in your life can leave you confused and frustrated. Construction Junkie is here to save the day with our 3rd Annual Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check out our 2015 and 2016 guide for additional ideas!
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.