Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator), the world’s first operational 3D-printed excavator, is to be displayed at this year’s ConExpo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 7-11.
The project, a joint collaboration of trade associations, industry, government and academia, leveraged large-scale additive manufacturing technologies and has advanced capabilities in the printing of metal alloy. The excavator is being printed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the cab, boom and a heat exchanger will be created and assembled.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), and the National Science Foundation were all involved in the two-year project, alongside Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois, and the University of Minnesota, with support from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office.
Eric Lanke, chief executive officer, NFPA, said, “The project idea came about during a tour of ORNL in 2014, when members of the CCEFP saw the 3D-printed car. Discussions ensued about what could make a similar splash for the fluid power and mobile equipment industry. Like many brainstorming sessions, one thing led to another and it was decided that a working excavator was a natural fit.”
February 3, 2017