World’s first 3-D printed excavator on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017

construction equipment CONEXPO-CON/AGG

CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017 are teaming up to unveil the world’s first fully-functional 3-D printed construction excavator and the first large-scale use of steel in 3-D printing, known as additive manufacturing. The excavator, which will be on display at the joint trade shows in March 2017, will bring to life how technology is transforming the construction industry in line with the show’s 2017 theme, “Imagine What’s Next.” In addition to the pre-printed excavator, show attendees will see a second excavator printing live on the show floor.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017 will take place March 7-11, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“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 3-D 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,” said John Rozum, IFPE show director.

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.

“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 Eric Lanke, chief executive officer of NFPA.

In addition to the partnerships with the Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota, AEM, NFPA, CCEFP, ORNL and NSF are inviting undergraduate engineering students from across the country to participate in a nationwide contest to design and print a futuristic cab and a human-machine interface for the excavator that is both aesthetic pleasing and functionally designed.

Students can submit their designs for the cab of the excavator on the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power website ( and all entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts. The winning team will receive a $2,000 cash prize and the opportunity to visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee to observe the printing of the selected design.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place every three years for the construction industries, showcasing the latest equipment, products, services and technologies. Founded in 1909, CONEXPO was originally designed as a road show demonstration of “amazing new devices” that could do the work of 15 horse-drawn units. In 1996, the show joined with the International Concrete and Aggregates Show to become CONEXPO-CON/AGG and provide an unprecedented scope of equipment, products and services for the construction industries.

About IFPE
IFPE is the leading international exposition and technical conference dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control applications. IFPE is held every three years and is co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG exposition for the construction industries. IFPE is co-owned by the National Fluid Power Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

About Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

For more information about CONEXPO-CON/AGG or other products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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