Elon Musk is considered one of the more controversial figures in the business world. He also cannot complain about the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic – the demand for his cars is still high, and the increase in the value of the company’s shares has allowed him to enrich by another million dollars. In addition, on May 8, against the state governor, he opened his factory in California, leaving his competition behind.
So both Musk and his factory arouse curiosity. The 3D Printing Media Network published articles about the Elon Musk factory and important tips that suggest that 3D printing technology is used in the production of the latest version of Model Y.
The first pieces of Tesla Model Y were delivered on March 13, just before the pandemic was announced. A few weeks ago on YouTube, there was a video showing the HVAC Tesla Model Y module, which was equipped with a 3D printed part. The author of the film (and also the channel leader) is engineer Sandy Munro, he takes apart the first part (literally!) Of the latest version of the electric car.
He admits that this practice could be used to make quick changes to the model. Most likely, the previously designed injection mold could have a drawback, and in the event of an epidemic hanging in the air, redesigning and re-making the mold would be too time consuming.
Slant3D took a stand on this issue, according to which the inclusion of 3D printing technology allowed to maintain production continuity. It also saved costs – according to experts, making such a large injection mold as the presented element would take 6-8, and the cost of its implementation could reach even half a million dollars.
Already then, one could wonder whether 3D printing at the Tesla factory is just an ad hoc solution, or has a chance to stay there for longer. Now, David Sher has published an article about another 3D printed model – also from the Tesla factory. The photos come from a presentation presenting Tesla’s financial results for the first quarter of 2020.
The presentation presents an example of simplifying car structural elements by reducing the number of parts from 70 to 2, and even one! This change was implemented in Tesla Model Y (the construction consisting of several dozen parts was used in Model 3 version).
In addition to visualization, the presentation also presents photos of finished chassis. The element on the left is composed of seventy standard parts. The element was most likely made using a hybrid device that uses additive and subtractive technologies.
Based on the photo, you can also specify a changed way of filling the element, which allowed, for example, to reduce the weight of the element. If its production proves profitable for the manufacturer, then it may become a standard structural part of the Tesla Model Y.