WesTrac has eight operational state-of-the-art commercial output 3D printers that are used for additive manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing is a term used to describe creating a three-dimensional object by building it one layer at a time.
What is additive manufacturing (3D printing)?
Additive Manufacturing is a term used to describe creating a three-dimensional object by building it one layer at a time. It uses computer aided design (CAD) software and 3D scanners to create a file for a printer to build the item in a range of different materials.
WesTrac’s 3D printing current capability
WesTrac has eight operational state-of-the-art commercial output 3D printers that are used for additive manufacturing.
Our printers produce a variety of different parts for use in our workshops and for installation on new machines. These printed parts improve processes and efficiencies, replace more expensive fabricated items, and are exactly repeatable time after time to within microns.
The printers use micro carbon fibre filled nylon that provides high strength, toughness, excellent surface finish and chemical resistance. 3D printed parts are significantly lighter than a traditionally milled or fabricated part, with a strength equivalent to machined aluminum.
Experience this in person
Technology Experience Centre (TXC)
To gain hands-on experience with the latest Cat technologies used in mining and construction, including this one, all you need to do contact your local WesTrac representative and request a visit to the TXC with your team.
3D printing is a highly sustainable manufacturing technology with very minimal waste. Unlike traditional milling and machinery that starts with a blank workpiece and removes metal to get to the final product, additive manufacturing binds very thin layer after layer to achieve the finished product. This is a great means of advancing sustainable practices in WesTrac’s manufacturing process, even on a small but growing scale.
3D printing to alleviate supply chain issues in the future
In our not-to-distant future, advancements in 3D printing technology, and many more rounds of testing, will make it possible for WesTrac to print a part quickly to alleviate supply chain issues. It is likely that there will be a room full of printers (metal, plastic, and other composites) that replaces a section of our regular parts warehouse, with inventory printed within hours of a parts order. Reducing storage, transport, and inventory capital.
WesTrac is continuing to learn what our capabilities are to keep up with the latest in technological advances. We already believe that engineering designed printed parts can replace traditionally produced items and we hope to bring this capability to our customers on a commercial level as soon as possible.