DETROIT — General Motors has used 3D printing since 1989 to help build prototypes faster, but the technology wasn't ready to go much beyond that. Now, GM is 3D-printing tools for medical device production and says it soon will start printing parts for vehicles in production.
"Hopefully over the next year or so, we will have production parts on our vehicles," said Kevin Quinn, GM's director of additive design and manufacturing. "We've really come a long way from really strictly using it for a prototype."
GM has reached the point where it uses 3D printing to make the majority of parts for some prototypes, such as the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Its Additive Innovation Lab, opened last year on the campus of its Warren, Mich., tech center, has trained more than 700 employees so far, and a nearby facility, called the Additive Industrialization Center, will be operational this year.