CRA Technology & Innovation – North America
General Motors typically relies on 3D printing to help launch new vehicle prototypes, however, during the pandemic, the same technology has played a critical role in helping the automaker transition from making vehicles to medical devices in a matter of days.
“3D printing helps us design and build parts and products faster and in ways, we previously couldn’t,” said Kevin Quinn, GM director of additive design and manufacturing. “It’s already having a positive impact on how we develop and build vehicles, like Corvette, and it’s allowed us to apply our mass production expertise to medical supplies and devices.”
GM’s experience with additive manufacturing enabled the company to quickly shift from its core automotive business to medical production.
“We could not have responded to the coronavirus as quickly as we did without 3D printing,” said Ron Daul, GM director of additive manufacturing. “The investment in both our additive manufacturing facilities and training the team to leverage 3D printing for development has enabled us to pivot to making ventilators and personal protective equipment virtually overnight.”
A second greenfield facility, the Additive Industrialization Center, will begin official operations in late 2020 onsite at GM’s Global Technical Center, said GM. The stand-alone facility will further expand GM’s use of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. GM will release more details about the facility later this year.
Credit to Collision Repair Magazine.