Dream Ma­chines — new and won­der­ful equip­ment from the CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2017 show in Las Vegas

The con­struc­tion in­dus­try mega-show CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 was held last month, with more than 2500 ex­hibitors show­cas­ing their new and won­der­ful equip­ment over a mas­sive 23ha site in Las Vegas. We sent edi­tor Dave Bullard to the US to check it out, and the

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

MECALAC 6MCR CON­STRUC­TION MA­CHINE

What bet­ter way to start the show off than with a stars-and-stripes-flying Mecalac 6MCR multi-pur­pose con­struc­tion ma­chine?

They’re hard to de­scribe – Mecalac says they’re “crawler skid-ex­ca­va­tors”, which doesn’t re­ally help – but ba­si­cally these amaz­ing ma­chines com­bine a compact ex­ca­va­tor with a compact loader, and can change from dig­ging to skid­steer mode at the turn of a switch.

We caught up with the lads from Perth-based dis­trib­u­tor Digrite at the Mecalac stand, and to say they’re ex­cited by these earth­movers is an un­der­state­ment.

Check out our Face­book page to see this 6MCR in ac­tion.

3D PRINTED EX­CA­VA­TOR CAB

We’ve fea­tured this 3D-printed ex­ca­va­tor cab in the mag be­fore, so we were rapt to see it in the flesh.

Part of Project AME (Ad­di­tive Man­u­fac­tured Ex­ca­va­tor), the sort-of-or­ganic-looking cab was de­signed and printed by re­searchers at the Oak Ridge Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory (ORNL) in the United States.

The cab formed part of CONEXPO’s Tech Ex­pe­ri­ence area, which ex­plored the kind of tech we’ll be see­ing a lot more of in the fu­ture.

3D-PRINTED AR­TIC­U­LATED ARM

As im­pres­sive as the ex­ca­va­tor cab was, this 3D-printed ar­tic­u­lated arm printed us­ing Wolf Ro­bot­ics’ metal ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing sys­tem was prob­a­bly more of a ‘Wow!’ mo­ment for us as we were able to get up close to it and feel its cold steel for our­selves.

Be­ing able to 3D-print com­po­nents out of metal is a real game-changer, with huge pos­si­bil­i­ties for keep­ing re­mote sites run­ning, and for sav­ing costs in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of lit­tle-used parts.

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