New Tech To Check (Out)

  • Rafn Company

The construction industry is constantly evolving with new products that make our work safer, more cost-effective, easier to install, and/or of higher quality. Here are several recent additions to our toolbox of great products for better building.


We recently used a SpyderCrane to remove existing steel stair framing at our O’Shea Building project. The specific crane we used had a 1,950-pound capacity, a 35-foot reach, weighed about 4,600 pounds, was battery-powered, and was operated by remote control. The crane was brought into the building on rubber tracks and was then leveled and stabilized using four outriggers. During use, its operating software gave announcements and/or warnings that let us know which operating mode it was in at any given time and limited use of the crane if it was out of level or overloaded. The photos show how it was able to fit into a tight working space and still make picks.

More information can be found at

Dusty Robotics

A promising new technology for architectural and structural layout comes from Dusty Robotics. Their robot automates the layout process by printing layout lines directly on the construction surface, replacing the current method of chalk lines and measuring tapes. With 1/16" accuracy, the robot goes to work printing 800 lineal feet per hour with only one person required for programming and on-site supervision: both increasing speed and lowering labor cost. It also prints multiple trades allowing different crews to work from the same information and identify clashes sooner. We met up with Dusty Robotics for a demonstration run at one of our future project sites and were impressed with this little robot's performance, ease of use, and work ethic.

More information can be found at

Karbon Bar

Traditionally there have only been a couple of products on the market for use to reinforce concrete: rebar, fiber mesh, stealth mesh, and post-tensioned cables. But now there is a new one with a lot of promise. Karbon Bar is an epoxy-based fiberglass bar that is four times lighter than rebar and is two times stronger. Additionally, as it is non-metallic it will not rust or corrode, and it has no conductivity or electromagnetic interference allowing its use in more applications. This product is relatively new and is only being used in footings, slab work, and sidewalks at this time.

More information can be found at

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