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:
Placing, bending, and tying rebar can be an extremely labor intensive process. It can also be very repetitive, which makes it a candidate for robotic automation. A relatively new construction technology startup is hoping to break into the space after raising some substantial seed funding.
For the past 5 years, construction technology company, Procore, has hosted their customers and tech enthusiasts at a multi-day conference called Groundbreak. There’s been significant growth since the events humble beginnings, not only in just attendees, but in the conference’s offerings.
This was my second time attending Groundbreak and, in case you couldn’t make it, here are the highlights of the items you missed:
If you want your construction company to be best-in-class, you need to be able to objectively measure yourself against them. To help assist with that difficult task, Autodesk has announced the release of a new self-assessment tool to measure where your company stands against your competitors based upon 7 different key performance indicators (KPIs).
Just days ahead of their annual Groundbreak conference, Procore has announced a new feature upgrade to their platform called Embedded Experience.
A few months ago, we wrote about a pretty weird and creepy robot dog that was designed to navigate tough and constantly changing terrain, such as on a construction site. Boston Dynamics, the maker of robot, has now officially announced it is available for sale.
Drones are used for a variety of different tasks on construction sites, like for tracking employees, calculating the volume of on-site stockpiles, or even performing OSHA inspections, but I’ve never actually seen any tools attached to them before. Well, engineers recently strapped a nail gun to one to see if it could potentially perform roof shingle installation.
If you didn’t know, the Netherlands loves pedestrian and biking bridges. Perhaps because of that, they seems to have become a leader in 3D printing bridge technology.
If you have a safety meeting or perform an inspection and you can’t find any documentation of it, did it ever really happen? Well, sure it did, but it definitely helps to keep proper records for things as important as safety for reference later on or to prove to a government agency like OSHA that your company is being proactive. One way to keep proper records is to use an app, and Safesite has just made that easier as they now offer a free version of their inspection platform.
A few technology companies have been trying to wedge augmented reality into construction for a few years now, boasting benefits of overlaying BIM models onto the real life site you’re working on, as well as interactive collaboration with remote workers. One of those companies that we thought was going to make a pretty big impact is apparently closing its doors in the near future.
As much as I like my smartphone, it’s undeniable that they can be a huge distraction on the job site or in a vehicle. The construction industry is dangerous enough without these added distractions, so at least one US contractor has decided to proactively manage their employee’s smartphone usage.