3D Printing Comes of Age for Auto Industry

Production of the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe was about to begin late last summer in Arlington, Texas, when engineers made a last-minute design change to the tailgate-mounted spoiler.

The move threatened to choke off the supply of the SUV just when dealers needed it most. With just 26days' worth of all Chevy vehicles on hand, a potential 12-week Tahoe delay for new parts would have been brutal for dealers to endure.

They didn't have to, thanks to a scrappy General Motors engineer in Michigan named Christine Bardsley. She leveraged GM's multibillion-dollar investment in additive manufacturing technology — 3D printing —to keep the Tahoe launch on track.

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