3D printed excavator on display at CONEXPO 2017
Fans of 3D printing as the future of manufacturing will have the chance to see a functional printed excavator cab at the joint CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE trade shows in Las Vegas in March 2017.
As we reported last month, a student engineering team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the US has designed and produced the prototype which they hope will expand the possibilities of large-scale printing with metal alloys.
The design won a competition that will see it pre-printed and put on display at the expos, which are held every three years.
IFPE is an expo and technical conference dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control applications, while CONEXPO-CON/AGG is an international gathering for the construction industries, showcasing the latest equipment, products, services and technologies.
The design competition was a joint venture between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Centre for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and is intended to demonstrate future uses of additive manufacturing.
"Additive manufacturing will revolutionise the way things are designed and produced in the not-so-distant future," CCEFP industrial liaison officer Mike Gust says.
"This contest helped to raise awareness of advancements in technology to the next generation of engineers and we’re excited that future engineers are bringing this newly designed machine to life."
The design competition attracted designs from student engineering teams across the United States and the winners received a US$2000 cash prize and the opportunity to travel to the ORNL to see their design being manufactured.
The pre-printed excavator will be on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE alongside an in-depth demonstration of the 3D-printing technology, in line with the 2017 show theme ‘Imagine What’s Next’.
Faculty at UIUC were excited with the result and proud of what their students had achieved.
"This project was one of the very top efforts in an extremely competitive field of 28 senior design capstone projects within the MechSE Department at UIUC in the Spring 2016 semester," UIUC associate head and Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering professor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler says.
"It had the ideal combination of a challenging project with outstanding ingenuity and hard work by the student team. We think it was a perfect example of what’s being accomplished within our senior design capstone program’s innovative atmosphere."
Check out the event listing for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017.
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