GM buys Tesla’s 3D printing enabled gigacasting supplier TEI to streamline EV production

GM has bought Tesla's 3D printing enabled gigacastings supplier TEI to streamline EV production, specially of their flagship Cadillac Cellestiq cars. Image credits: GM

General Motors has announced that they have acquired Tesla’s Gigacasting supplier TEI (Tooling & Equipment International) which uses 3D printing to streamline EV production. 

TEI is Tesla’s EV development and production streamlining process which produced gigacastings for Tesla EVs. With this $80-100 million acquisition, gigacastings are made available to other companies. 

TEI is known to combine sand casting with 3D printing technology to produce large one-piece automotive castings. It combines the car’s subframes and platform to create a single continuous piece. Later on, other car components are added to the body casting to make the complete vehicle structure. 

Earlier this year, we talked about how Tesla is mixing 3D printing and sand casting techniques to make 3D printed sand cores which can be fitted into hollow subframes. 

Tesla calls this large car body casting as gigacastings while GM is calling them megacastings. 

This 3D printing-enabled technique helps in rapid prototyping and reduces production costs as the EV development cycle is halved from 3-4 years to 1.5-2.0 years. With the help of TEI, Tesla rapidly manufactured its Tesla Semi, Cybertruck, Model Y and Model 3. 

Now, GM wants to cash in on TEI’s sandcasting methods to enhance the production of the GM EV flagship Cadillac Celestiq which has a starting MSRP of $340,000. With the help of TEI, six castings have been supplied to Cadillac Celestiq including shock towers and the underbody of the EV which reduced components assembly by 180-250 parts 

Earlier in 2023, the American Foundry Society recognized Celestiq megacasting as the Casting of the Year.

According to GM, having TEI as their subsidiary gives them “a competitive advantage with strategic castings for future low volume products like the Cadillac Celestiq”. The company is building a new production line for Celestiq at Livonia, Michigan. 

However, this is a setback for Tesla which has lost its primary sandcasting supplier as they are trying to mass-produce affordable EVs at a starting price of  $25,000. The Elon Musk company has to rely on German, Japanese or British companies for its castings in the absence of a domestic partner. 

Although TEI is operating separately it will be under the General’s Global Manufacturing division. 

Remember, you can post job opportunities in the AM Industry on 3D ADEPT Media free of charge or  look for a job via our job board. Make sure to follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our  weekly newsletter : Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram ! If you want to be featured in the next  issue of our digital magazine or if you hear a story that needs to be heard, make sure to send it  to