We’ve noticed an uptick in cars–especially pricey ones–using 3D-printed parts. However, these are usually small and nonstructural parts with a few exceptions. This isn’t the case with the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq. The $300,000 luxury electric vehicle boasts 115 3D-printed parts, according to a post on [TheDrive].
It appears part of the drive–no pun intended–is to allow ultra customizations for people who need more than a car that costs more than a quarter of a million dollars. For example, if you buy an Escalade — another Cadilac vehicle — you have to tolerate that the switches that operate the window are the same as Joe Sixpack has in his Tahoe. Not so, the Celestiq since it has 3D printed switches that could even be customized for a specific owner. The post mentions that the large steering wheel trim is all printed so having, for example, your name, family crest, or company logo embedded in it would be feasible.
If you think about it, the economics of 3D printing makes more sense for these luxury cars. A common production vehicle needs parts to feed an assembly line that is cranking out nearly 1,000 cars a day. GM — the maker of Cadilac — will never produce more than two Celestiqs a day. The web site notes they are “by inquiry only.”
We have seen some concept cars using sophisticated 3D prints for structural parts. Of course, you can still 3D print an enhancement for your VW Golf.