Student Engineering Team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Wins Excavator Cab of the Future Design Contest

IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the largest construction show in Western Hemisphere, will feature the first use of 3-D printed steel in an excavator designed by engineering students

The student engineering team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) submitted the winning design for an aesthetic and functional excavator cab that will be 3-D printed and on display at IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/AGG at the Tech Experience in March.

Student engineering teams from across the country submitted their designs for a futuristic excavator cab and human machine interface. A panel of industry experts judged the competition; members of the UIUC team will receive a $2,000 cash prize, donated by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), and will have the opportunity to travel to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee to observe the printing of their design.

“This project was one of the very top efforts in an extremely competitive field of 28 senior design capstone projects within the MechSE Department at UIUC in the Spring 2016 semester,” said Professor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. “It had the ideal combination of a challenging project with outstanding ingenuity and hard work by the student team. We think it was a perfect example of what’s being accomplished within our senior design capstone program’s innovative atmosphere.”

A video of the winning design submitted by the UIUC can be seen here.

According to John Rozum, IFPE show director, the excavator will be on display at the joint trade shows in March and will bring to life how technology is transforming the construction industry in line with the show’s 2017 theme, “Imagine What’s Next.”

In addition to the pre-printed excavator, show attendees will see a demonstration of the 3D printing technology on the show floor.

“Additive manufacturing will revolutionize the way things are designed and produced in the not-so-distant future,” said Mike Gust, industrial liaison officer at the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). “This contest helped to raise awareness of advancements in technology to the next generation of engineers and we’re excited that future engineers are bringing this newly designed machine to life.”

CCEFP was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to 3D-print a full-scale operational excavator, to be on display at the 2017 IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/AGG Trade Shows in Las Vegas. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility will lead the printing of the machine.

CCEFP 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. Graduate engineering students at Georgia Tech will create a boom and bucket featuring integrated hydraulics with the goal of decreasing the weight, materials cost and maintenance, while students at the University of Minnesota are designing a hydraulic oil heat exchanger and cooling system that reduces the size and weight and increase the efficiency of the machine.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, NFPA, ORNL and NSF partnered with the CCEFP, to sponsor the nationwide cab design contest.

For more information and daily news and updates, please visit http://www.conexpoconagg.com/

About IFPE

IFPE is the leading international exposition and technical conference dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control applications. IFPE is held every three years and is co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG exposition for the construction industries. IFPE is co-owned by the National Fluid Power Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

About CONEXPO-CON/AGG

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place every three years for the construction industries, showcasing the latest equipment, products, services and technologies. Founded in 1909, CONEXPO was originally designed as a road show demonstration of “amazing new devices” that could do the work of 15 horse-drawn units. In 1996, the show joined with the International Concrete and Aggregates Show to become CONEXPO-CON/AGG and provide an unprecedented scope of equipment, products and services for the construction industries.

About Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) 

AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.  

About the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power(CCEFP)

The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) is a network of researchers, educators, students and industry working together to transform the fluid power industry—how it is researched, applied and studied. Center research is creating hydraulic and pneumatic technology that is compact, efficient, and effective. The CCEFP’s education and outreach program is designed to transfer this knowledge to diverse audiences—students of all ages, users of fluid power and the general public.   

Media Contact: Sandra Spann  sspann@aem.org  tel: +1 414-298-4122

Posted: 6/6/2016 2:58:48 PM


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