RAPID prototyping, PRODUCTION management (Manufacturing), MANUFACTURING processes, and THREE-dimensional printing
The article focuses on the benefits of using the three-dimensional (3-D) printing for manufacturing industry. It relates a story of the construction and mining equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. which showed how it saved money through 3-D printing of low-volume parts. It also discusses the importance of using 3-D for prototypes and designs.
BUSINESS revenue, RAPID prototyping, THREE-dimensional printing, and 3-D printers
The article reports on the predicted rise in three-dimensional (3D) printing market revenues by 2021. Topics covered include the SmarTech Markets Publishing data focused on segments where low-cost 3D printing machines will gain greater revenues as observed in the purchase of large organizations for distributed prototyping including Boeing, Dell and Caterpillar. Also mentioned are rise of the low-cost 3D printer professional market dominated by firms such as Maker Bot, RepRaps and 3D Systems.
Presents information about Caterpillar Inc.'s new 3-D graphics welding process simulation software called Virtual Fabrication Technology. Reduction in the number of prototypes that produced waste and weld fumes before creating a successful new fabrication process; Prediction of weld distortion in large and complex structures by the software; Combination of sequential coupling of thermal and mechanical analysis in the simulation software.
COMPUTER software and COMPUTER-aided design software
Focuses on the implementation of Parametric Technology Corp.'s Pro/Engineer computer-aided design (CAD) software by Caterpillar. Conversion of the company's 2D CAD drawings into 3D Pro/E models; Advantages of virtual prototyping; Use of solid models to perform structural and fluid-dynamics analyses.