In the construction world, 3D printing technology has traditionally focused on buildings and other static structures, like this 3D printed bridge in Madrid, Spain. Not anymore, though, as the world’s first 3D printed excavator was officially unveiled to the attendees at last week’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 in Las Vegas.
The team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory initially announced that the excavator would be at the expo last April. The machine has 3 main 3D printed components: the stick, the cab, and the heat exchanger. The stick which measures 7 feet in length and weighs 400 pounds, is made of steel and took 5 days to print. The cab was made of carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic and only took 5 hours to print. The heat exchanger was made of 13 pounds of aluminum, but the group has not released how long that component took to print.
Project AME, as the excavator is known, was not just unveiled at the expo to look pretty, either, it was put to work to show it could function just like a normal excavator. Equipment World was at the festivities and put together the quick video below showing the machine in action:
Whether you’re looking to begin using software for the first time or update your current system, here are some ways that software can help improve your company in 2018:
Picture documentation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a construction project. They can help communicate a story, catch mistakes, and assist in warranty calls. In the past, pictures only told part of the story, because they were two dimensional and often impossible to place where they were taken on the site. Now, 360 degree photos are becoming the norm and pictures are becoming an even more powerful tool.
By all accounts, Apple has become the operating system of choice for the construction industry. According to JBKnowledge’s latest Construction Technology Report, 70% of respondents stated that they used iOS devices in 2017, and iOS was also the most used system in 2015 and 2016. Procore, another tech company that’s a favorite for the industry, has just released a fully redesigned iOS app for both the iPhone and iPad.
Early in 2018, PlanGrid announced that they would be organizing their very first annual Construction Summit, which would unite PlanGrid users and stakeholders in the company’s home city, San Francisco. At the Summit, which took place on June 10 and 11, 2018, PlanGrid CEO Tracy Young and CTO Ralph Gootee chose to announce several major product innovations and developments.
Construction Junkie's 4th Annual Best Construction Podcast Competition has officially come to an end and the results have been tallied. It was a very exciting competition this year, with several very strong competitors pulling in tons of votes.
Tracking updates to construction software is uncharted territory for many contractors and very easy to miss. I’m going to be highlighting a lot more software updates and enhancements for several of the major project management and construction productivity software that many construction professionals are using in the future. Recently, PlanGrid announced 7 new updates that its users will most certainly find helpful.
Creating submittal logs and tracking forms can be a complete hassle, so thankfully tech companies have taken notice and have begun creating tools to alleviate the problem. Earlier this week, Procore announced the release of their new Submittal Builder tool, which will scan your project’s spec book and create a submittal log within minutes.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.