Three-dimensional printing, or additive manufacturing, promises us an unlimited supply of hard-to-build parts for our aging vehicles (it’s the only way you’ll find a clean gauge bezel for your Lamborghini Miura), and eventually the process will be used our modern vehicles too. Take GM and its Cadillac brand, who have been partnering with Carnegie Mellon University for the more than a decade on the technology. The group’s latest venture brought us four complicated parts for the new Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing, but the more important piece, for now, is how it helps the manufacturing process. But first, we need to get our terms straight.
“3D printing is the building of a part, layer by layer, by a machine. Additive manufacturing is the entire ecosystem it takes to bring a product to industrialized fruition through 3D printing,” said Brennon White, additive design and manufacturing application engineer for General Motors.