Machinist 3D Prints an Incredibly Realistic R/C Caterpillar Bulldozer

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d10aniThe year was 1973, and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc., unveiled their prototype of the D10 Bulldozer at one of their corporate meetings. Resulting from the construction industry’s need for a larger tractor than what Caterpillar was currently offering, the D10 was made available for sale in 1978. It had a good run of 8 years before finally being replaced by its successor, the D11.

Even today though, hobbyist and bulldozer fanatics still have a place in their hearts for this beast of a machine. One of these men is a machinist and fabricator named Jason Hatala, who also has an affinity for 3D printing.

“I am a member of RC Truck and Construction and enjoy building scale construction equipment,” Hatala tells 3DPrint.com. “3D printing, which I have been involved in for 4 years, has allowed me to take model building to the next step in detail and ease. I use a simple CAD program like Autodesk to design, and I use two Afinia H479s currently [to 3D print my designs with].”

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Hatala’s incredible 3D printed bulldozer

Hatala had a desire to design and 3D print a radio controlled Caterpillar D10 dozer, so that is exactly what he set out to do. It took him 10 days to design all of the 3D printable files for his tractor, and an incredible 2 weeks to 3D print 270 separate parts. All of the parts for the dozer were printed on Hatala’s Afinia H479 printers, using ABS filament. The only exceptions were the track pins which hold the 90 separate track pads together, as well as the various electronics used to operate the R/C vehicle. He elected to use steel track pins rather than 3D printing them, simply because plastic parts would not have been able to hold up to the wear and tear put on them in the same way steel can.

Prior to being post processed and painted

Prior to being post processed and painted

“I prefer ABS as I can weld parts together with acetone and I always utilize vapor smoothing after some post print sanding to bind all layers together and give the part a nice finish,” Hatala tells us.

The tracks that help the D10 dozer get around are powered by gear motors and the blade is operated using linear servos. The sound, as heard in the video below, comes from a diesel sound generator and speaker which is set into a 3D printed speaker box.

This is by far one of the most incredible 3D printed R/C vehicles that we have seen to date. The detailed worked that Hatala put into it really shows off his design skills. So what’s next for Hatala? He tells us he is currently in the design phase for a 3D printed 1:14 scale R/C 1963 Euclid R45 Dump Truck as well as a Caterpillar 657 Scraper. For these models he will use a 3D printed mold in order to cast his own rubber tires.

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What do you think about this incredible 3D printed R/C bulldozer? Discuss in the 3D Printed Caterpillar D10 forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the bulldozer in action, as well as some additional photos below.

3D Printed Track Pads

3D Printed Track Pads

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Designing the 3D printable files.

Designing the 3D printable files.

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