Now scientists at Oak Ridge National labratory are using 3D print technology to create the first 3d printed Earth excavator. All this to explore the possiblitity of printing with different metal alloys.
3D-printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), mostly uses plastics of some sort to create objects layer by layer. Plastics are cheap, light, and easy to melt, lending themselves to the process.
Metals, on the other hand, are heavy, costly, and melt at much higher temperatures – making them a challenging material for 3D printing.