Boring Company Prufrock Machine Will Start Tunneling in 2021

Boring Revolution indicates that the Boring Company Prufrock tunneling machine should start digging test tunnels in 2021.

Boring Company had announced in Feb 2020 that they had built Prufrock. They have been working on getting the machine to achieve its performance goals.

Boring Company started with a commercial machine from another supplier. It was called Godot and it was their first-generation tunneling machine. The Boring Company came up with Line Storm, a modified version of a conventional boring machine that is about twice as fast. The first major goal is to make tunneling 10X faster with Prufrock.

There will be further iterations of the tunneling machines.

SOURCES -Boring Company, Boring Revolution
Written By Brian Wang,

22 thoughts on “Boring Company Prufrock Machine Will Start Tunneling in 2021”

  1. I say forget about moving people right now. If you can truly drill tunnels quickly and cheaply then there is automatically a huge market for this service. Utilities and cargo would be your first customers. Imagine having a port on one side of the city and being able to transfer containers to all parts underground. Got a water shortage? Build a dam in an ideal location and tunnel the water to your destination.

  2. I will add to William Reading's comment that the tunnelling system is supposed to add the concrete walls autonomously while boring with performed castings in a spiral. The tunnel design is also much smaller (14 ft) than what is usually seen and only autonomous electric vehicles will be allowed a much simpler ventilation system will be required. All of these things combined will maybe enable 10X speed.

  3. I think the initial tunnels are 14 foot diameter inside the concrete wall sections. This is plenty for one lane of traffic, with room for air to move around the vehicle, avoiding a piston/cylinder effect. 14 foot tunnels would be good for aqueduct tunnels for water supply, or hydroelectric projects.
    Likely, larger diameter machinery will come later for long distance "trains", rather than Tesla vehicle based shuttles. Eventually, "hyperloop" vehicles will traverse Boring company tunnels.

  4. There were modifications that made it possible to install tunnel wall segments while still boring. The machine was modified to operate by electric motors, presumably powered by swappable battery packs, rather than Diesel engine. Muck trucks were made electric, and operate continually, rather than episodically.
    Eliminating Diesel power for machine, and muck trucks make ventilation much less of an issue.

  5. The Dune movie will be released to whatever theaters are still open on the same day it's released for streaming on HBOMax. It's a parallel distribution which WB is doing for all of their major 2021 movies.

  6. I have watched a number of tunnel building systems on utube in the last few years. Besides the digging installing the support liners are getting a lot of attention. With all the improvements in directional drilling it seems obvious to me a lot of bulk like concrete could be pumped into the tunnel from above through drilled holes and save on the need to move the supports thru the tunnel. Anyone seen anything like this? This method could also be used to pump out debris at least partially.

  7. Ok, so they already build it (Prufrock) and plan to start digging in a few months
    Does this mean they have have tech to dig 10x faster?

  8. I was going to make a dirty joke about motion in the ocean, but I didn't want Eric Schmidt, Mark Zuckerberg, or Jack Dorsey cancelling me…

  9. Drilling air shafts is trivially difficult, and in some cases existing infrastructure can be integrated into the drill plans.

  10. But you need ventilation, access tunnels, emergency exits, etc. Electric cars really help a lot, since there's no smog generated in the tunnel – but you still need ventilation.

  11. Tunnels energy consumption is proportional to the area of rock removed, which the square of the diameter. So small tunnels have a huge advantage in terms of power and heat generated. Elon wants to use them for people movement one way. As he said recently, it just an electric car in a tunnel….So, big enough for an electric car is enough.

  12. One of the design features is that it is smaller than the usual diggers. It is a minimum size that will accomodate a Tesla car I guess.

  13. I wanna see video of Prufrock coming out of the ground when it porpoises up, all Dune sandworm style, with appropriate sound effects to match.

  14. I haven't followed it closely, but my understanding was that his original boring machine was faster than others in meters per second, but not in cubic meters per second. So it could dig a tunnel faster than other diggers, but only because the tunnel was much narrower than other diggers.  

    Does anyone know if that's true? And does the 10x speed increase just mean it digs tiny-diameter tunnels fast, or does it actually dig more volume per second than other diggers.

  15. based on the human standing in the background the pictured borer is not very big. This must be a utility digger, not a transportation digger.

  16. I know this is one of Elon's more boring ventures but I always find the details of the tunneling scarce. What were the modifications? How realistic is it that they will reach 10x speed in a reasonable timeframe? Is there any potential to upend the legacy players in this field or is it mostly just hype?

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