World’s First 3d Printed Excavator Headlines 2017 CONEXPO-CON/AGG

 courtesy of CONEXPO-CON/AGG

courtesy of CONEXPO-CON/AGG

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: