A star of the CONEXPO/CON-AGG show in Las Vegas in early March was an unassuming, unbranded mini excavator busily moving dirt around in a corner of the show. It was the progeny of Project AME, a collaboration between a national laboratory and industry, academic and government partners to bring 3D printing to an industrial scale in service of construction.
The goal was to produce significant parts of the machine—based on a Case New Holland 5.5-ton mini excavator and data that was contributed by the manufacturer—using three distinct 3D printing technologies and then integrating them with conventional parts into a functional machine in time for CONEXPO. Project leader Lonnie J. Love, a corporate research fellow from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., says more parts could have been 3D-printed, but the team was rushing to meet the opening of the show.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.