Conexpo-Con/Agg and IFPE plan to unveil the world’s first 3D printed construction excavator at its joint trade shows in March 2017.
The shows' theme – “Imagine What’s Next” – aims to showcase how far technology has come, and the excavator will be the showpiece at the event.
In addition to the pre-printed excavator, show attendees will see a second excavator printed live on the show floor.
The excavator is a joint collaboration between the 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 working with research teams from Georgia Tech and The University of Minnesota to convert the current excavator design to one that is conducive to and takes full advantage of 3D manufacturing.
Graduate engineering students at Georgia Tech will be creating a boom and bucket featuring integrated hydraulics with the goal of decreasing the weight, materials cost and maintenance, while students at the University of Minnesota are designing a hydraulic oil reservoir/heat exchanger and cooling system that reduces the size and weight and increase the efficiency of the machine.
John Rozum, IFPE show director, said, “We know our members look forward to seeing the industry’s most innovative technologies at Conexpo-Con/Agg and IFPE each show year and 2017 will not disappoint.
“We’re thrilled to bring such a significant technological and first-of-its-kind achievement like the 3D printed excavator to the show. It will be a platform to demonstrate how the latest innovations and applied technologies are changing the future of construction industry.”