Joe Taylor, Team Lead at Caterpillar explains how their prototyping team managed to save 80 hours by using Materialise Magics software to analyze every part file and build platform. "Without Magics, we wouldn’t have met our deadline.”


200 Pieces in 5 Weeks

It took only five weeks to build the 50% Thermal Efficiency Display Engine for the Diesel Engine Emissions Conference. The build consisted of over 200 individual pieces that had to be constructed, painted, and assembled. The CAD assemblies we received from the engineer were in good shape, but still needed some work to produce better models by means of stereolithography.

The Caterpillar Rapid Prototyping team next pulled five Pro-Engineer assemblies into Materialise Magics software to separate, fix, and set up our builds. Materialise Magics enabled us to specify parts we had to keep and remove others that were not as necessary. We removed all internal parts and either hollowed out or simplified many that would not be seen. A few of the assemblies needed some repairs; Materialise Magics fixed and improved the parts quickly. The team also found parts that needed to be split and hollowed out due either to their physical size or volume. The splitting tool proved to be the best means for achieving sectioned geometry. After completing the tasks of separating and fixing, we were able to set up all the builds in Magics before having to slice them. This process saved us approximately 80 hours.
We were also able to estimate how long the builds would take. We then added or removed parts, creating optimal builds. The Stereolithography machine ran around the clock and completed all of them within three weeks. The rest of the time was spent prepping, painting, and assembling to meet the conference deadline. The team chrome-plated many of the models, as you can see in the pictures.
Caterpillar parts

Meeting Tight Deadlines

As I said, we saved about 80 hours by utilizing Materialise Magics software to analyze every part file and build platform. Without Materialise Magics, we wouldn’t have met our deadline. We finished the project right on time for the conference.
Like many of our projects, this one had a very short timeline. We had to build every model the way we did to ensure good, sound models. Materialise Magics helped us optimize our time each day. The project was a great success because of the way we planned every step ahead of time, making sure that our models would build without any problems. We are very proud of how the project turned out and look forward to the next big project.
Caterpillar’s rapid prototyping department uses Materialise Magics software in all our projects to review, analyze, check dimensions, fix, hollow out parts, split, build supports, and even calculate the cost of our builds. This software plays a very big part in our daily activities. The team is learning continually how to use more and more of the software’s features. We also take advantage of the support Materialise offers, which ensures the success of very complex models. Their people are very knowledgeable and committed to helping when we need them.
Caterpillar parts

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