World’s First 3-D Printed Excavator Coming to IFPE 2017


The world’s first 3-D printed construction excavator is set to be on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017, March 7-11, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. A second excavator will also be printed live from the show floor. Not only will this be the first fully functional 3-D printed excavator, it will also be the first large-scale use of steel in 3-D printing.

The project 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). Research teams from Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota are working on the excavator design to make it conducive to 3-D printing as well as to decrease size, weight, materials cost, and maintenance while increasing machine efficiency. Undergraduate students were invited to participate in a nationwide contest to design and print the cab and human-machine interface for the excavator. Industry experts will judge all entries, and the winners will receive a $2,000 cash prize plus a visit to the ORNL to see the printing of their design.

“Technology and innovation will drive change for the future of the construction industry, and we’re excited that students are playing a vital role in bringing the newly designed machine to life,” said NFPA CEO Eric Lanke.

Read the full press release here.

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