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Caterpillar Inc. Uses 3D Printing

Are you ready to learn more about the fascinating world of 3D printing and the latest technology advancements? We’ve talked about 3D printing homes, dental implants, shoes, medical devices, and more in the past. With each news story, things progress even further. Today, we are going to talk about how a popular company, Caterpillar Inc. is using this amazing form of printing.

While you might not know their work completely, you do recognize their brand. The big yellow Caterpillar machines that work in most construction zones have a 3D printing team that helps them print tools. That’s right! They’re using the technology every day to help their company out in a pinch.

According to 3Dprint.com, “At the Caterpillar transmission assembly plant in Dyersburg, Tennessee, a faulty assembly line procedure had people believing thousands of dollars would be lost as the problem was fixed. But thankfully, Caterpillar’s team was called in and was able to 3D print a ‘temporary plastic tool and got it to the facility overnight, saving the line from going down.’ The fact that the tool could be made out of plastic, and not metal made the process go quicker and kept the transmission assembly line from being shut down.”

Caterpillar states that making tools and shipping them is a large cost for all parties involved. If they could offer 3D printing for their clients, in-house, things would be much easier and more cost-effective.

According to catepillar.com, “Our teams have rapid prototyped (think a quick fabrication) 50,000 models over the last 25 years. The way 3D printing can be used today, though, has dramatically changed.”

The 3D printing process offers a more sustainable option for making parts and components (a lot less energy and waste and fewer iterations to get a part right), and it means saving time and lots of money for Caterpillar.

Do you think even more companies are going to start offering in-store 3D printing? This would be much like what Nike is already doing with their 3D printed shoe stations at various shoe stores in the U.S. You’re able to make the shoes you want based on software that’s offered at a kiosk, in the store!

Be sure to stay tuned for more news regarding the ever-evolving world of 3D printing and 3D CAD services. As soon as new news hits, we will report it right here, as we always do!

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