Caterpillar Using 3D Printing to Aid Setup
A long-term goal of the Caterpillar Additive Manufacturing Group is to explore how additive manufacturing (3D Printing) technologies could be applied for the production of end-use components, such as low-volume plastic parts or one-off replacements for legacy equipment. However, it has also found ways of improving current production with additively manufactured gages, assembly fixtures and other manufacturing aids.
The 3D-printed part shown above was created to speed up setup tasks for a production line. The part is a model of a forged track link, a component of the chain-like assembly found on dozers and other track-type equipment. In the past, workers would have used heavy models made from wood when creating fixturing and programming CMMs. Or, they would have waited for the parts themselves to arrive from the foundry.
To learn more about how Caterpillar is using 3D printing to aid setup, please visit: http://www.additivemanufacturing.media/blog/post/how-is-caterpillar-moving-forward-with-am