Sponsored By
Ann R. Thryft

October 31, 2016

3 Min Read
ORNL and Students 3D Print Excavator Parts

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are working with university students and industry partners to design and 3D print large-scale parts for a heavy construction machine. The project aims at accomplishing several goals, including reducing production time and overall cost of making low-volume, high-complexity components for the construction industry.

The completed excavator prototype is known as Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator). It will have three large 3D-printed components: the operator cab, the stick, and a heat exchanger. A student engineering team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed the cab. It will be printed on the same Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine that printed a replica of the historic Shelby Cobra sports car in only six weeks using carbon fiber-reinforced ABS composites.


About the Author(s)

Ann R. Thryft

Ann R. Thryft has written about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for Design News, EE Times, Test & Measurement World, EDN, RTC Magazine, COTS Journal, Nikkei Electronics Asia, Computer Design, and Electronic Buyers' News (EBN). She's introduced readers to several emerging trends: industrial cybersecurity for operational technology, industrial-strength metals 3D printing, RFID, software-defined radio, early mobile phone architectures, open network server and switch/router architectures, and set-top box system design. At EBN Ann won two independently judged Editorial Excellence awards for Best Technology Feature. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University and a Certified Business Communicator certificate from the Business Marketing Association (formerly B/PAA).

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