Sources familiar with Tesla’s production plans have revealed that the company is working on using binder jetting, a special 3D printing technique, to create the sand molds needed for its ‘gigacasting’ process, where a large, complex part such as the underbody is cast as a single piece of metal. The use of 3D printing in designing the molds would result in a fraction of the cost and time, while making more complex designs possible.
Anyone remotely familiar with 3D printing technology knows its biggest appeal: the ability to design and prototype multiple iterations of a part quickly and at low cost. It seems Tesla, known for its disruptive approach to solving production challenges, has not been blind to these advantages. Recently, we reported about its new ‘gigacasting’ process, which involves casting large, complex car parts as a single piece, instead of stamping and assembling it in several complex and costly steps. The information revealed by the sources behind this news also details the challenges of implementing the new process, and it appears that 3D printing is at the very heart of the solution.