Print an Excavator?

April 25, 2016

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  theme of the shows is “Imagine What’s Next” and aims to showcase how far technology and construction have come. The completed 3D printed excavator will one of the showpieces at the event. The second excavator will be printed via 3D technology live during the show.

The excavators are 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.

“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.

For more information about the Conexpo-Con/Agg show, click here: