Just recently, General Motors attracted a lot of attention in connection with additive manufacturing. With the help of 3D printing, the American automaker was able to produce 60,000 parts for its Chevrolet Tahoe 2022 in just 5 weeks! Now, General Motors announced a major investment in its Global Technical Center in Michigan to advance the construction and improvement of its famous Cadillac CELESTIQ. The car company, which owns well-known brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, and also Wuling, is now also focusing on making the cars fully electric.
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The investment of more than $81 million in the Global Technical Center is made to ensure that the campus is ready for the construction of the Cadillac CELESTIQ, with work already being in full swing! General Motors’ Additive Industrialization Center, which opened in 2020 on the GM Global Technical Center campus, can be seen as the main reason for the successful implementation of additive manufacturing on the Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V. Those were GM’s first vehicles to benefit significantly from additive manufacturing, as parts such as the shift lever emblem, transmission components and air conditioning ducts, among others, were 3D printed for the vehicles.
Using the Ultium Platform For The Construction
When it comes to the additive build of the Cadillac CELESTIQ, GM’s Ultium platform is particular useful as it is GM’s centerpiece when it comes to additive manufacturing. It includes a common electric vehicle architecture, powertrain components, battery cells, modules, and packs as well as Ultium drive units, electric motors, and integrated power electronics. The platform offers the automotive group the advantage of standardizing and streamlining machinery, tooling, and assembly processes, leading to greater flexibility and, at the same time, lower capital investment and greater efficiency when it comes to transforming further assembly plants.
The CELESTIQ, which will be the first vehicle to be built at GM’s Global Technical Center, will have a roof made of intelligent glass with four quadrants and floating particles. The advantage of this type of roof is that each passenger can determine the transparency of the roof themselves and individually. Overall, however, General Motors expects the Cadillac CELESTIQ to push innovation inside the supplier community. The company also hopes to be able to produce a large volume of 3D-printed components within a GM production vehicle. These include structural as well as cosmetic parts that will be additively manufactured from polymer and metal. GM has not made any statements about which technology will be used in this case.
The goal of GM is, by combining craftsmanship and technology in the Cadillac CELESTIQ, to make the car serve as a future flagship for a new and resurgent era of the brand. Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, explains, “Each one will be hand-built by an amazing team of craftspeople on our historic Technical Center campus, and today’s investment announcement emphasizes our commitment to delivering a world-class Cadillac with nothing but the best in craftsmanship, design, engineering and technology.”
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