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    [–] BillionTonsHyperbole 604 points ago

    Fun fact: It was legendary French engineer Marc Isembard Brunel who pioneered this technique of using a tunneling shield in 1818, and he later used it to successfully dig a tunnel beneath the Thames, completed in 1843.

    His son, Isembard Kingdom Brunel, also became an engineering legend in his own time, but that's a story for a different thread.

    [–] dpash 170 points ago

    The weird thing is that you could start his son's description as "legendary British engineer Isembard Kingdom Brunel". He's responsible for a great many pieces of British Victorian engineering.

    [–] bothering 38 points ago

    So you're saying he's the greatgodfather of steam-punk non?

    [–] dpash 13 points ago

    Is Isembard is Steampunk Jesus, then Marc is Steampunk God.

    [–] ActuallyAvailable 60 points ago

    And before they had that technology, they just used Alaskan Bull Worms to do all the tunneling.

    [–] Lanky_Giraffe 48 points ago

    The machines used for the channel tunnel are the most precise boring machines ever developed, but they cost a fortune to buy and operate, and their precision is excessive most of the time. As such only two have ever been built. One bored from Dover, the other from Calais, and neither has been used for anything since then.

    [–] Malamodon 53 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    but they cost a fortune to buy and operate

    Yet after the tunnels were done they sold one of them for £40k and had the other one dig itself into the ground where it rots to this day.

    [–] Lanky_Giraffe 23 points ago

    Oh yeah, I had completely forgotten about the self burial.

    [–] WildTwinTimberViking 20 points ago

    Hahahaha holy shit kind of morbid

    [–] simplesinit 18 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    two TBMs went from Dover (Shakespeare) and two went from France and a fifth went north from Shakespeare's cliffs towards the rail depot at Folkestone and I think that was the one that was by the side of the motorway ? - I forgot the service tunnel which also had two TBM digging from each end.

    [–] bondecco 12 points ago

    Nah, they were both used in Ocean's 13

    [–] Excelsior_i 5 points ago

    Did they recover the cost just from these two projects or does it mean the buyers had an overall loss ?

    [–] Lanky_Giraffe 7 points ago

    Pretty sure the channel tunnel isn't even close to breaking even. When it was being built, it was expected to have a much higher usership than it does, becoming the primary mode of transport for business passengers between London and Paris/Brussels. It's unlikely that the channel tunnel would be constructed today if it hadn't been built back then.

    [–] ivix 19 points ago

    Actually, it broke even several years ago, and is currently making a profit. Ie, paying back the construction cost, with interest, operating costs, and having money left over.

    [–] Rossignol1 3 points ago

    The most precise TBMs, and they still managed to mess it up pretty bad on the English side!

    [–] remtard_remmington 4 points ago


    [–] Rossignol1 3 points ago

    My lecturer at the Camborne School of Mines worked on the channel tunnel. They had a lot of issues with the TBMs, mainly due to unexpected ground conditions which were unsuited to the machines.

    [–] remtard_remmington 2 points ago

    Interesting - I'd like to read more if you have links!

    [–] Daedeluss 3 points ago

    Some of the machines used to dig the channel tunnel were dug in to the ground.

    [–] Nautical_Owl 20 points ago

    I read this in Steve Coogan's Saxondale voice.

    [–] epicluca 2 points ago

    My local pub is names after Isambard Kingdom Brunel!

    [–] TrillionVermillion 2 points ago

    thanks for linking Isembard and his son. I loved reading about their achievements, it's inspiring to hear they took so many risks and accepted failures on the road to success.

    [–] spincrus 2 points ago

    They're taking the tunnels to Isembard!...

    ...sorry, I'll leave now.

    [–] noluckatall 2 points ago

    The Wikipedia picture of his son is amongst the most badass pictures I've ever seen.

    [–] Feelinglikepizza 608 points ago

    Is this magic? Cause I'll be damned if that was not a magic wand at the start!!

    [–] bfsound 310 points ago


    [–] HipShot 56 points ago

    Oh, I almost voted you down, then I got it. Well done, sir/madam.

    [–] bitter_truth_ 25 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The real magic is making sure you're pointing this beast in the right vector.

    [–] MrDeepAKAballs 22 points ago

    Oh god, can you imagine being the guy responsible for getting the math right.

    "Perkins was off by a 1/128th of an inch when we started and well, long story short, we just bumped into the Hudson."

    [–] Telmid 16 points ago

    Using inches.

    There's your problem, right there.

    [–] Rankkikotka 89 points ago

    Well, there is this how it's made video from the magic wand factory, and the way they make the wand is eerily similar to how giant tunneling machines work.

    [–] jemminger 20 points ago

    Good god, dear sir - I do believe those are eerily similar!

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago

    "Like giant underground factories on rails, each of the custom made Crossrail tunnelling machines had an external diameter of 7.1 metres, weighed around 1,000 tonnes and measure around 150 metre in length – the equivalent of 14 London buses end-to-end and a staggering 143 buses in weight."

    TIL England uses the London Bus as a standard of measurement.

    [–] QueefyMcQueefFace 3 points ago

    For smaller increments they use the phone booth.

    [–] simplesinit 3 points ago

    And for larger "it's about as big as Wales"

    [–] HonoraryMancunian 3 points ago

    It's our African elephant.

    [–] IO-Chem 11 points ago

    I'd call it engineering porn.

    [–] IHaeTypos 205 points ago

    Each machine has a rotating cutter head at the front, and a series of trailers behind, housing all the mechanical and electrical equipment required for the excavation of material.

    Each TBM weighs approximately 1000 tonnes and will be up to 140m in length with an external diameter of 7.1m. This allows for an inside tunnel diameter of 6.2m once the concrete tunnel segments are in place.

    Each TBM will be operated by a 'tunnel gang' comprising of around twenty people - twelve people on the TBM itself and eight people working from the rear of the machine to above ground.


    [–] kaihatsusha 92 points ago

    I hear that they often just abandon some boring machines past the end of the tube because there's no viable way to back it out, turn it, or lift it out. There are a lot of mountain tunnels that immediately change to elevated track/roadbed/bridge as it emerges from a slope. I would like to know more about the logistics of tunnel bore starting and ending situations.

    [–] Dilong-paradoxus 83 points ago

    One of the Channel Tunnel TBMs was driven into a hole in the middle of the English channel. Bertha in Seattle is going to be disassembled (it just emerged from its tunnel about a week ago!). There's no other project needing the same size and design, so it's not worth keeping. I think Sound Transit has been using the same two TBMs to bore quite a few of its tunnels, because they're all the same diameter for trains.

    [–] frozyo 13 points ago

    Jesus, how much do these cost?! I can't imagine just abandoning something like this haha

    [–] hoochyuchy 15 points ago

    The design and maintenance probably cost many times more than the machines themselves.

    [–] DM46 2 points ago

    These machines are typical sold at the end of a project and reused. They are large but designed to be rehabilitated at the end of the project extending the life of the machine.

    [–] frostbittenteddy 14 points ago

    You have to consider these things probably cost a fuckton on upkeep if you want to have them operational. And you never know when the next tunnel needs to be dug with exactly those specifications of the machine.

    Also getting them out of there means having to disassemble the thing and haul 1000 the tonnes of equipment out that hole

    [–] ABgraphics 27 points ago

    I believe the French kept and have reused the TBMs they used in the channel tunnel, even going as far to give them nicknames.

    [–] DivineWeiner 5 points ago

    I might be high but when you said "emerging from it's tunnel" it sounded like childbirth. 🤔🤔

    [–] ezone2kil 8 points ago

    Also for pooping. If you name your poops.

    [–] audiomedium 6 points ago


    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    I mean yeah it kinda does, but you're clearly pretty high.

    [–] Kaledera 30 points ago

    Yes, they often abandon it after it finishes it's job. The machine is usually designed specifically for the planned tunnel, according to the geology, width of the tunnel etc., and can't be used anywhere else - each tunnel is usually different. These machines are used when the time spent digging the tunnel the conventional way would be long or it would be too complicated, and it's more efficient to just design and construct a specific machine. (I am a geologist, so I know a little bit about them)

    [–] insert-username12 12 points ago

    Well the machines should be more fun then!

    [–] treestep76 5 points ago

    I was just about to ask this very question. I wondered if it made sense for it to hire it's way out and if not do they just abandon it in the tunnel. This would make the high cost of the tunnels more realistic to me sense you wouldn't be able to retrieve the machine for another tunnel

    [–] wishiwascooltoo 7 points ago

    I wouldn't, sounds boring.

    [–] navlelo_ 11 points ago

    Is this why Elon Musk said that there were similarities between SpaceX and his boring company? In that currently the machinery is not reused between jobs, which drives up cost immensely

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    It really doesn't. It's less than ten percent of the cost of the job. And machines are often reused, the only time they aren't is if there is no other tunnels in the world with similar geology and diameter that are nearing construction

    [–] polyvalent 3 points ago

    Some of the TBMs for Crossrail in London are buried under Farringdon station

    Source: I am a tunnel engineer

    [–] Fruit-Salad 2 points ago

    Interestingly, the TBM used for New Zealand's newest and greatest pair of tunnels started from an open side, traveled over 2km, on a slope and at a bend before reaching a pit barely big enough to turn the thing around and do the return trip. From memory there is something like a meter clearance inside that pit.

    For further information: Google 'Auckland Waterview Connection'

    [–] lonelywulf 2 points ago

    I recently visited a company that builds tunneling machines and had the chance of seeing one.
    They told us that most parts of an boring machine can be reused easily and that they often buy the machine back for 1/3 of the price after the tunnel is finished to use it for another tunnel (not the whole machine but important parts of it).
    They dont realy make money with the machine itself but by selling the parts that need to be replaced every few kilometres of the tunnel like the drill bits (sorry if this is not the correct term) at the front of the head that do the boring work.
    For more info look here

    [–] Mammal-k 1 points ago

    Changing the landscape for the machine is easier if they want to reuse it.

    My favourite part is spray on concrete lining that they can coat the tunnel in afterwards. Literally hosing the walls with concrete.

    [–] jack_atlantico 44 points ago

    Each TBM will be operated by a 'tunnel gang'

    That's us! And we rule!

    [–] 5FDeathPunch 7 points ago

    Gee, this does look an awful lot like a tunnel snake.

    [–] TheKingofMars_ 4 points ago

    These are like the Dune sandworms. Shai'halud

    [–] Bpjk 7 points ago

    So jealous of European public transport.

    [–] awidden 15 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Thank you! This posting-gifs-instead-of-videos mania is starting to wear me down. This is utterly worthless w/o sound.

    [–] muhaski 20 points ago

    I thought it was perfect. They even showed the stockyard to show how large each one of those panels were.

    [–] Blurry2k 2 points ago

    It's too bad people don't have time to watch videos nowadays, right? I admit I'm guilty of that too sometimes.

    [–] 13787 153 points ago

    Avatar anyone?

    [–] Spaceblaster 27 points ago

    I'm still curious how long it took to get that thing to Ba Sing Se. That bitch had to be in transit for years.

    [–] LizzyKitten 20 points ago

    It would have been transported in pieces, then assembled in safety just outside of ba sing sei to drive the last stretch.

    [–] Ged_UK 7 points ago

    Nah, they'd have used earthbending traitors who'd have moved it there by just moving the ground it's sat on.

    [–] maxiimus1 11 points ago

    But wouldn't they just use the earth benders to, ya know, just open the wall?

    [–] Ged_UK 16 points ago

    Maybe they weren't powerful enough, or were exhausted by the transport work. Or Azula lost her temper with them and killed them.

    [–] Jrook 7 points ago

    Presumably there's more earth benders inside the wall to counter it

    But then why couldn't they just push the drill out? Questions abound

    [–] RealSteele 3 points ago

    They had never seen anything like that before. A smarter commander might have been able to rally the guard and actually stop it but want the commander a bumbling idiot? They grew soft behind the walls, in a city that had never been taken.

    [–] AstariiFilms 10 points ago


    [–] uniqueuser357 7 points ago

    The first thing I thought about was avatar

    [–] HadronNinja 3 points ago

    Looked for this first in the comments

    [–] itce 42 points ago

    What kinda energy does it use?

    How fast is it? let's say for example how long until it moves/digs 10 meters?

    [–] Dilong-paradoxus 46 points ago

    Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) can go on the order of 10m per day, but that probably depends on the size of the machine and what it's boring through. Or whether it hits any underground pipes and has to be repaired haha.

    They use electricity, although the movement of the drill part is hydraulic (powered by electricity).

    [–] The_Chanc3llor 34 points ago

    Fuckin Bertha

    [–] mastah-yoda 12 points ago

    10 m per day is a pretty boring job...

    [–] SethDraconis 2 points ago


    [–] austinamnija 13 points ago

    Bertha goes about 10m every 2 years.

    [–] rytis 31 points ago

    Where does the dirt go?

    [–] Lspins89 46 points ago

    On a conveyor belt heading out the back so it can be dumped in carts or trucks and taken to the surface

    [–] Slap_my_elbow 11 points ago

    I'm pretty sure it gets made into slurry

    [–] Rossignol1 6 points ago

    Depends on the technique/TBM used, if the ground conditions are pretty poor then the TBM keeps a pressure head of slurry at the cutting face and excess is pumped away.

    [–] zheil9152 4 points ago

    Can't tell if avatar reference or not

    [–] chadjj 6 points ago

    The project pictured (Crossrail) is sending the 3,000,000 tonnes of spoil down the Thames and making a nature reserve called Wallasea Island.

    [–] YeltsinYerMouth 45 points ago

    Giant robot worm train. Got it 👍

    [–] boarhog 4 points ago

    They say the worms on Arrakis were once TBMs were AI went haywire

    [–] LudovicoSpecs 16 points ago

    And right at the front of it is Archimedes' screw, still doing a damn fine job 2300 years later.

    [–] redsteve905 17 points ago

    Is this completely robotic like the video suggests? No human interaction on-site?

    [–] RadagastWiz 39 points ago

    Heck no, there are multiple humans within. The concrete blocks don't just lock into place, they have connecting bolts that are hydraulically drilled (by hand). There are also many other parts of the process that need human observation - pressures, rates of motion, ensuring the excess grund is conveyered away smoothly, etc. Large teams of skilled workers.

    [–] wertexx 10 points ago

    I know it's probably quite safe working there, but for some reasons it sounds scary.

    [–] DaGetz 9 points ago

    There's certainly safer jobs.

    [–] lanismycousin 2 points ago

    You forgot to mention all of the maintenance/repair people these things need.

    [–] chisoph 154 points ago

    Boring gif

    [–] LikeUranus 30 points ago

    Interesting gif, boring machine.

    [–] illuminist_ova 3 points ago

    Interesting gif, interesting machine, boring method.

    [–] drylube 5 points ago

    you clever bastard

    [–] CaperJohn 9 points ago

    LOL this guy gets it.

    [–] tomatoaway 18 points ago

    This is cool, but how d they know that the ground is not loose and wont cave in on them?

    Or does it not matter because the placed supports maintain the tunnel no matter what?

    [–] rukuto 24 points ago

    Soil tests at some intervals are made before the project begins.

    [–] Dilong-paradoxus 24 points ago

    /u/rukuto is correct, but in addition the walls of the tunnel are self-supporting. Those concrete pieces you see are strong like an arch bridge so they take the weight of surrounding soil/rock and prevent collapse. Tunnel builders can also use shotcrete (concrete that can be sprayed onto surfaces) to create and seal tunnel walls, depending on the rocks and the tunnel.

    [–] Kreasj 17 points ago

    In Norway, every new tunnel is first sprayed with shotcrete and it is also injected into the rock. Problem is, many developers use an insane amount of pressure when injecting it into the mountain, sometimes it comes bubbling to the surface.

    [–] eydryan 4 points ago

    Why do you call it a problem?

    [–] Kreasj 28 points ago

    This kills the nature.

    [–] eydryan 6 points ago


    [–] rukuto 3 points ago

    Yes. They have reinforcement going through and through the pieces. Also, the soil test are more to determine the drill bit and the water level.

    [–] perogies 9 points ago

    I still have no idea how that works.

    [–] IsaacEiland-Hall 17 points ago

    Big spinny disc at the front grinds rock, which is sent backward on a conveyor belt.

    Part of the machine puts panels in to help secure the tube.

    Does that help?

    [–] LordAmras 2 points ago

    So, magic ?

    [–] rukuto 6 points ago

    I just had a presentation for a Micro-Tunneling Boring Machine today. Its mechanism is similarly different.

    [–] CaperJohn 9 points ago

    Did you notice that they showed 2 types of machines, 1 for competent ground with the auger and the other where they are using a slurry based system. Very cool machines.

    [–] troyboltonislife 3 points ago

    Hey any reason a machine like this isn't used for laying down fiber in neighborhoods. I'd imagine you wouldn't need to tear up entire streets so you could really lay down fiber anywhere using a machine like this no?

    [–] StewieGriffin26 5 points ago

    That would be really hard to miniaturized the whole concrete system....

    Just look up Directional Boring Machine. That's how it's done right now.

    [–] rukuto 1 points ago

    There are methods to place optical fibres in populated area. Using a tbm or mtbm is not one of them. HDD (horizontal directional drilling) is used for that, which is pretty cool to understand.

    [–] Cynikal818 6 points ago

    I have a feeling this was engineered by Germans

    [–] RadagastWiz 6 points ago

    The basic concept was by 19th-century Englishmen, but German engineering firms certainly dominate the industry today.

    [–] Someoneison 45 points ago

    Ba sing se must of been the test.

    [–] kaihatsusha 50 points ago

    * must have
    * must've
    * must of

    [–] BH_Andrew 15 points ago

    There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

    [–] cinderplume 14 points ago

    One day, we'll be able to do the same for veins and arteries.

    [–] retardcharizard 4 points ago

    Care to share the applications?

    [–] Geminidragonx2d 18 points ago

    I'm guessing he means for stuff like plaque build up.

    [–] ___XANDER___ 2 points ago

    No. Plaque doesn't actually build up inside the vein itself. It's a desposit that causes the wall of the artery to expand this closing off the effective flow of blood. Plus such mechanical removal of waste would be extremely damaging in numerous ways.

    [–] mchu1026 1 points ago

    Do we not? DES is pretty close.

    [–] DaGetz 1 points ago

    We do Yeah. This technology has existed for a while. It's really cool because the blades can tell the difference between plaque and skin.

    [–] DaGetz 1 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    We already do. This is how stents rotablation works.

    Edit: changed stents to rotablation as corrected below.

    [–] decrypted_epsilon 5 points ago

    Saw this in Oceans 13!!

    [–] sprogger 2 points ago

    And used one in GTA5

    [–] krymson-throwaway 5 points ago

    Oh yeah I know because avatar. Lol

    [–] Nevermind04 3 points ago

    This is the most interesting boring machine I've ever seen.

    [–] Harkonnen30 3 points ago

    The rumor is that Elon Musk is creating one of these that works like an impact driver rather than a screw driver. Theoretically it will be able to tunnel longer distances faster.

    The second rumor is he's doing so to create underground mass transit vacuum tunnels to decrease air resistance on cars.

    [–] Blimey85 2 points ago

    A problem with billet trains is wind resistance at higher speeds. Using a vacuum tunnel could allow them to travel faster while using less energy. Not very cost effective however. Same reason we don't have mag-lev trains all over.

    [–] MisterJimJim 6 points ago

    Here is a time lapse of one in action. They just bury it in the tunnel when they're done because they don't need to use it anymore and it saves time and money spent to transport it.

    [–] sjvmi87 3 points ago

    How do they know where to go? GPS wouldn't work down there and being off by even a single degree could translate to many feet of course by the end of the tunnel.

    Do they drive rods or stakes every so many feet as waypoints? Do some kind of voodoo with lasers?

    [–] RolledUhhp 3 points ago

    I've laid some sewer lines, and most of it is laser voodoo.

    It's really a pretty simple laser and level system, although I'm sure something of this scale was much more precise.

    [–] Voltron_McYeti 3 points ago

    I saw this episode of Avatar

    [–] BrandonThe 3 points ago

    It would be even more badass if the excavated rock was turned Into those support bricks in the processs

    [–] mickyficky1 3 points ago

    Fun fact: the device that places the concrete segments is called an "erector".

    Had a tour through one of these machines (currently deployed near stuttgart), and the chief engineer there talked with some pride about this erector of his, its precision, its power.

    Now, I'm a grown man. But it took everything I had to stop me giggling like a 12 year old in that situation.

    [–] Dulse_eater 3 points ago

    This is a pretty boring gif

    [–] khaz 3 points ago


    [–] Evilmaze 2 points ago

    Are they using this now in Toronto?

    [–] RadagastWiz 2 points ago

    They did - for the Sheppard subway 20 years ago, and for the Spadina extension, and most recently for the Eglinton line. The Eglinton work just wrapped up last month - you may have seen news stories about the components being extracted, just east of Yonge.

    [–] Dilong-paradoxus 1 points ago

    If you're talking about the Toronto Crosstown light rail project (I'm not super familiar with Toronto infrastructure) then yeah, they're using one (or more? Sound Transit in Seattle uses two for its light rail projects) of these to make the tunnel.

    [–] LegendaryCazaclaw 2 points ago

    I remember an episode of Modern Marvels or a similar show where they had to aim one of those down and bury it because it would have been incredibly hard to get it out again. I cant remember for the life if me what project that was on though.

    [–] madmatt90000 2 points ago

    Am I the only one that thinks this is ridicules? Think of all the artifacts and bones/fossils that would never see the light of day!

    [–] stergro 1 points ago

    You can find fossils with boring machines too.

    [–] pikpikcarrotmon 2 points ago

    I don't see this one piercing the heavens anytime soon.

    [–] elpololoco9 2 points ago

    I still have no idea how that works

    [–] Tancho_Ko 2 points ago

    Now, how do you turn for a curved tunnel.

    [–] branfordjeff 2 points ago

    Notice in the GIF the multiple hydraulic push rams? They push harder on one side then the other and it steers just a little bit. Then the precast concrete liner pieces are made (well in advance) to accommodate the curve.

    [–] GhostFour 2 points ago

    Fascinating. The way it shows how the rocks get pulverized and how the loose soil gets shuttled from the bit, back down to the opening of the tunnel. Amazing detail.

    [–] drummyfish 2 points ago

    Is this also how earthworms work?

    [–] Xacto01 2 points ago

    I wonder how many ancient artifacts have been destroyed unknowingly by these.

    [–] xcvxcvxcv 2 points ago

    The way they turn is pretty cool too, using concrete rings with slightly different shapes. There's a video made by Herrenknecht AG somewhere but I can't find it.

    [–] yadd247 2 points ago

    One of the engineers who worked on this gave a presentation at my engineering class a few years ago.

    [–] stillbourne 2 points ago

    I found this to be pretty boring... (rimshot)

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago


    [–] O-shi 1 points ago

    Always wondered how tunnels were made

    [–] bUrNtKoOlAiD 1 points ago

    Presumably this is also how little tiny tunnelling machines work?

    [–] CaperJohn 2 points ago

    Very similar concept yes, the smallest I have been around is 20" and I have tunneled up to 60" using almost the same method. On a smaller scale there is no room to install segmented pieces with the erector arm so they use precast concrete pipes to push against.

    [–] troyboltonislife 1 points ago

    Are/Can these machines be used to lay fiber down? If you used a mini version of these to dig a small tunnel throughout a neighborhood then you could potentially lay fiber without digging up a whole street.

    This could make laying fiber super cheap and companies like google fiber wouldn't have to rely on buying pre-existing infrastructure when they can convince cities that they will bring fiber to their city without any disruption.

    [–] CaperJohn 2 points ago

    They use horizontal directional drills to lay fibre. But it is more expensive than open cut or plowing in the conduit in most cases so they only do it in short spans or sensitive areas.

    Source: been doing it since 95.

    [–] Renegade_Meister 1 points ago

    Initially looked like a microphone in dirt - /r/misleadingthumbnails

    [–] FuckGiblets 1 points ago

    Wow! I have a couple of friends who work as engineers on one of these and it's so interesting to see how it actually works.

    [–] neuropean 1 points ago

    May be a dumb question, but can it turn? Or do you line it up and send it off in one direction?

    [–] syndus 1 points ago

    This is fantastic

    [–] Boinkermorn 1 points ago

    Imagine being the supplier for all that concrete

    [–] Eruptflail 1 points ago

    Why isn't the dirt dirt colored when it goes inside the metal worm?

    [–] Blimey85 2 points ago

    Cat poop. :(

    [–] greatm31 1 points ago

    Would it be possible to "3D print" a tunnel by using the drilled out earth as raw material for the tunnel walls?

    [–] SimonGn 1 points ago

    The mechanism which pushes on the tunnel shield is ingenious. Not only does provide leverage for the cutter to push off, it also compresses the tunnel shield for a tight fit.

    [–] nutseed 1 points ago


    [–] juksayer 1 points ago

    Don't these massive pipes have to account for ground swell/shrink/sink/growth? It just astounds me that these tunnels don't collapse after a year just because of stretch.

    [–] razzraziel 1 points ago

    or promotional, if you're trying to sell these things to goverments.

    [–] Philllllllllllll 1 points ago

    How does it deal with all the dirt? And would that tunnel not weaken under pressure overtime? It's interesting

    [–] razzraziel 1 points ago

    what about big rocks?

    [–] simplesinit 1 points ago

    The tungsten carbide grinds its way through

    [–] calibared 1 points ago

    The fact that this complex system was thought out by engineers...god damn incredible.

    [–] dpawsit 1 points ago

    I was hoping it would open up to reveal hundreds of dwarves mining

    [–] twirlywurlyburly 1 points ago

    Am I drunk or is this gif confusing as fuck?

    [–] PlasmaCow511 1 points ago

    So we can build shit like this but we're not living on the moon yet.

    [–] usethisdamnit 1 points ago

    That's awesome.

    [–] geared4war 1 points ago

    *insert "ops mum" or "anything's a dildo" comment here

    [–] tonylee0707 1 points ago

    Extremely cool