Caterpillar launches 3D printing and innovation accelerator

Good to see more mnaufacturers pursuing 3D printing as a production approach.

Given the possibilities of 3D printing to create new, efficient designs and to reduce overall inventory for manufacturers, it should be no surprise that world-leading machinery producer Caterpillar Inc. has embraced the technology as well, with the launch of the Caterpillar 3D Printing & Innovation Accelerator. The launch of the new tech ecosystem corresponds with the opening of three new innovation spaces at Caterpillar’s Global Research & Development Center in Mossville, Illinois.

Caterpillar’s new Additive Manufacturing Factory features 10 industrial 3D printers using different technologies. (Image courtesy of Caterpillar.)

Like many manufacturers, Caterpillar has been using 3D printing for prototyping for some time. The company has printed 50,000 models for rapid prototyping purposes over the last 25 years. At the moment, Caterpillar already operates more than 80 different 3D printers throughout its business, including approximately 30 industrial systems and 50 desktop 3D printers. The 3D Printing & Innovation Accelerator will see the company further implement this technology through three new spaces that represent different parts of the manufacturing process: the Innovation Accelerator, the Additive Manufacturing Factory, and the Cat® MicroFoundry.

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