Cadillac’s CELESTIQ 3D printed parts will not have a major impact on refinishers

Cadillac says it has “drawn from every era and element of its rich heritage to deliver the most advanced, most luxurious and one of the most important vehicles the brand has ever produced” in the production of the CELESTIQ, which features 115 3D printed parts.

The vehicle is Cadillac’s all-electric flagship and production is scheduled for early December 2023, with an expected MSRP starting at $300,000.

Repairer Driven News asked General Motors if specs for the 3D printed parts will be provided to dealers so they can be produced locally or if they come from a national warehouse. Spokeswoman Katie Minter said that while additive manufacturing is “a great addition” to GM’s ability to make parts for its supply base, the process isn’t as simple as printing parts and placing them on the vehicle.

“For example, to get the desired finish on a part used for some 2022 Chevrolet Tahoes, our supplier used a technique called ‘vapor polishing,'” she said. “The Celestiq’s 3D printed metal steering wheel decor comes off the printer and requires additional finishing. Due to the processes required for final parts, replacements cannot be printed at a dealer.

Most of the other 3D printed parts are small brackets, trim pieces, window switches, handles, console fixtures, and structural pieces.

Each CELESTIQ is personally commissioned through customer-dealer work with Cadillac designers “to realize their unique vision for the car, with unprecedented levels of personalization tailored to the owner’s taste,” according to a recent press release from the OEM.

“CELESTIQ is like no other Cadillac and the customer experience is just as exceptional,” said Rory Harvey, global vice president of Cadillac. “Each vehicle is a unique expression of its owner, using advanced technologies that make the driving experience personal and rewarding.”

Minter told RDN that Cadillac chose to use 3D printed parts on the CELESTIQ “to leverage Cadillac’s legacy of craftsmanship and innovation” and “create a truly bespoke experience.”

“3D printing enables details that are difficult to achieve with regular production methods,” she said. “Whether 3D printed or not, every part of a GM vehicle is developed to meet specific requirements, and we have a wide variety of suppliers and processes to meet those requirements, including additive manufacturing, stamping, casting and injection molding.

“The benefits of 3D printing depend on the specific application. In some situations, the lack of tooling required for additive manufacturing is a cost advantage for low volume applications. Additive parts even allowed the Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing to offer a manual transmission. In other cases, the benefit is speed or customizability. In applications such as motorsports, 3D printing enables shapes that are not possible with other processes, such as more complex internal cooling channels. Additive manufacturing is not the right answer to every technical question, but we are fortunate to have a great team in our Additive Industrialization Center working with our wider design and engineering teams to determine where it is the right application.”

The OEMs’ move to use 3D-printed parts was not in response to supply chain shortages and delays in getting parts, Minter says.

Minter told RDN there should not be a major impact on bodyshops repairing CELESTIQs, and specifically with 3D printed parts. “3D printing allows us to do new and interesting things, but the end result is basically the same,” she said.

“In many cases, a repairman does not even know that a part has been 3D printed. A damaged part, such as a bracket, will behave and crack like any other plastic or polymer part and must be replaced. The metal 3D-printed parts are mainly interior trim pieces that are less susceptible to damage from collisions: the steering wheel, window switches and seat belt buckles. It’s also worth noting that 3D printed components still represent a small percentage of production parts. The Cadillac CELESTIQ and the Blackwing vehicles are low volume models. The full size SUV component referred to was a bridge solution and the replacement parts offered are injection molded.”

Each CELESTIQ customer will receive “a highly personalized experience” led by their chosen dealer in conjunction with a one-on-one concierge to guide them and access to a Cadillac designer and exclusive services, the OEM said.

“With an extremely low number of hand-built vehicles offered globally each year and an exclusive declaration process, CELESTIQ will truly be a bespoke one-of-a-kind,” Harvey said in the release. “Each customer experiences a personalized journey to make their vehicle precisely as they wish.”

Each CELESTIQ is built on GM’s Ultium platform, which combines an 111 kilowatt-hour (KWh) battery pack with a two-motor, four-wheel-drive propulsion system to provide GM-estimated 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. and driving range of 300 miles on a full charge. The CELESTIQ’s battery cells are mounted horizontally, and the package’s low mounting position lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity to improve handling and ride comfort while maximizing interior space, Cadillac said. It also includes on-demand braking and single-pedal driving; the latter was intended to bring the vehicle to a complete stop using only the accelerator pedal.

Other features include:

    • Adaptive air suspension;
    • Active rear steering;
    • Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 suspension technology;
    • Advanced AWD;
    • Active Roll Control through the use of anti-roll bars at the front and rear of the chassis to reduce the roll force exerted on the vehicle;
    • Active rear spoiler;
    • Ride-oriented tires;
    • electric power steering;
    • 5-link front and rear suspension; and
    • 200 kW DC fast charging system

Body construction

The underside of the CELESTIQ includes six large precision sand-cast aluminum components, each reducing the number of parts by 30 to 40 components, compared to typical stamped construction, according to Cadillac. Through its “flex fabrication” process, Cadillac will fold and manipulate sheet metal into unique shapes for the CELESTIQ, which will have more than 300 fabricated parts in the body structure, chassis, interior and electrical components.

The EV’s “Fixed Smart Glass Roof” will feature Suspended Particle Device Technology, multi-color ambient lighting and “light choreography” to “create a unique interplay between the exterior and the amount of light entering the cabin through the four zones” . roof. The lighting choreography begins when the key fob is 15 feet away from the vehicle, illuminating the front Cadillac Crest and the center of the black crystal shield grille to the headlights.

Carbon fiber comprises several parts of the exterior and includes an aluminum grille, crown piece, rocker, taillight and headlight trim, brushed aluminum body side trim, aluminum eTrunk liner, and brushed metal tailgate body vents. There are no exterior door handles; instead, they are opened and closed by pressing a button.

Starting with CELESTIQ, Cadillac is introducing a new connected camera platform with indoor and outdoor cameras for theft detection and crash registration. CELESTIQs will also have Ultra Cruise – GM’s ADAS for “hands-free” driving.


Photos of CELESTIQ provided by Cadillac.

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