GM Adds Some Vroom to 3D Printing
General Motors is putting additive manufacturing on the fast track (figuratively, at least) with the upcoming Blackwing variants of Cadillac’s CT4-V and CT5-V sports sedans.
Due to hit the streets next summer, the high-performance models will feature the carmaker’s first applications of functional 3D-printed parts in the form of HVAC ducts and wiring harness brackets.
They also will sport a 3D-printed medallion (pictured below) on top of the gear shift knob for cars equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The low-volume Blackwings will be an important learning experience as GM starts to expand its use of 3D printing from prototype parts to production vehicles.
This includes working with several different materials, processes and suppliers. The HVAC ducts, for example, are made of nylon 12, while the electrical bracket is aluminum, and the shift knob emblem is stainless steel.
It takes less than a day to complete production batches and about a week for finishing (post-processing and quality checks), according to the carmaker.
GM plans to use several “qualified” additive manufacturing suppliers on the initiative but declined to name them.
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