General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) Banks On 3D Printed Parts For Lower Costs, Vehicle Weights


General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has unveiled plans to begin producing 3D-printed components, in a move that will make the company attain its goal of expanding the current profile to 20 new fuel and electric car models. The plan could lead to production of car components that resemble rigid pieces or have organic shapes. The company will undertake the new program in partnership with Autodesk, a Bay-area software company.

Through the plan, the company intends to make seat brackets from stainless steel. The 3D printed parts will 20% stronger and 40% lighter than the traditional seat bracket. The part is traditionally made up of eight separate parts from separate suppliers.

The whole technology behind the process is referred to as generative design. The employees AI-based algorithms and cloud computing so as to develop several plans that are based on user contribution on cloud computing, goals and parameters. The user can then choose the best design from the options.

General Motors hopes that in futures, it will be able to use 3D printing in most of the manufacturing processes so as to reduce costs and weight of the vehicles.

Scott Reese, the senior vice president in charge of manufacturing and construction products at Autodesk said that generative design is the future of vehicle manufacturing and GM is the first one to apply it so as to reduce the weight of their vehicles. He noted that Generative technologies significantly changes the way in which engineering works are carried out because the entire engineering process is built into design options from the very beginning. Reese said that the automaker’s engineers will be able to explore several ready-to-be manufactured and high-performance design options.

The new technology will especially be useful in making electric cars even lighter and make alternative-energy vehicles more profitable. General Motors has already projected that it will start earning profits from electric cars in 2021. The company also intends to produce 20 new battery-electric vehicles come 2023. Two of the vehicles will make use of Chevrolet Bolt EV’s platform.

The technology from Autodesk can be very helpful in helping General Motors achieve its goals of turning electric cars into a profitable venture. The process helps top get rid of the numerous suppliers in the chain of manufacturing as well as the extra components.