Caterpillar is in the news again, soon after they announced their energy storage offerings to the world. Now, in their Global Research & Development Center in the U.S., they have officially opened a 3D Printing & Innovation Accelerator center. Caterpillar produces most of the construction equipment you would see on sites today and will now be 3D printing some of its parts. The new center will also allow engineers to test out creative ideas  

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Credit: 3Ders.org

Jim LaHood, who works for Caterpillar's additive manufacturing team said: "The possibilities are endless in the factories. Things that are previously done out of metal that doesn't need to be -- like little tools and gauges -- can be made from plastic now." 

Moreover, Caterpillar says they are not strangers to 3D printing. They say that they have printed 50,000 models over the last 25 years when 3D printing looked a little different than it does today. The company says it is glad there is now a cost-effective way to print that uses less energy and money. 

Caterpillar is not allowing themselves to be left behind in the modernisation of civil engineering and how it is changing. They call this changing nature of the industry the 'Age of Smart Iron' and say they are prepared to take on the task. Thus, their energy storage solutions and 3D printing facilities show that they are ready for the immediate future. 

But wait...there's more. Caterpillar Inc is not done yet. Chief Executive of Caterpillar, Doug Oberhelman met with ministers in Cuba in hopes that they can start moving some of their tools into the country and improve trade ties once the U.S. trade embargo is fully lifted. 

He spoke to reporters, saying: "We have talked about a number of projects. I think the most interested one in the near term would be the Mariel harbor...making an efficient modern harbor that competes with others around the world." Caterpillar will be working with a Puerto Rican company in Cuba, named Rimco, who will act as their dealer over there, Reuters confirmed.  "The idea is for our dealer to set up a facility here in Cuba. We would supply most of our products from Brazil."