3D printing isn’t just a niche anymore, and Cadillac is here to prove it. The automaker is the latest company to advance the trend of 3D printed car parts with the Celestiq — its flagship electric vehicle that includes more than 100 different 3D printed parts.
Cadillac said that figure includes 3D printed plastic and metal parts that are both structural and cosmetic elements. That’s far more than its CT4-V and the CT5-V, which only had its emblem along with some HVAC and transmission parts 3D printed.
Cadillac’s decision to include so many 3D printed parts could be a preview of how the auto industry takes advantage of the technology in the future. If that’s the case, we’re hoping that the savings from 3D printing car parts means lower price tags for consumers.
A new standard — If you look at the hobbyist level, 3D printing has definitely saved DIY folks a few bucks here and there by printing replacement parts for when something breaks. On a commercial level, Cadillac’s parent company GM said that it’s saved a non-trivial amount of money — as much as $300,000 as reported by 3D Printing Industry.
For the Cadillac Celestiq, GM is fairly invested, funneling $81 million towards its Global Technical Center to outfit the factory for assembling the flagship EV. The Celestiq is actually the first production vehicle to be built at the campus since it was inaugurated in 1956.
A push toward using 3D printed parts could mean fewer delays since there’s less interaction with parts suppliers. Other companies like Audi, BMW, and Ford have also adopted 3D printing in one form or another. As consumers, 3D printing parts could theoretically translate to cheaper vehicles, but more realistically, automakers may take the opportunity to squeeze more profits out of each vehicle.
More or less — In addition to the push toward 3D printing, Cadillac’s flagship EV incorporates novel features like a four-quadrant roof that lets each passenger set their own level of roof transparency and a pillar-to-pillar freeform display with privacy measures designed to keep drivers distraction-free.
As for the Celestiq specifically, we still don’t have any pricing details. Cadillac said the show car for the Celestiq will debut in late July, with more images arriving throughout the summer.