Tesla’s Technological Breakthrough Aims to Transform EV Production and Costs



Key Takeaways

  • Tesla is pioneering innovative manufacturing techniques, such as ‘gigacasting’ and 3D printing with industrial sand, to streamline electric vehicle (EV) production and reduce costs.
  • These advancements are in line with Elon Musk’s strategy to create a cost-effective manufacturing process and rapidly develop EVs.

Revolutionizing EV Manufacturing and the ‘Gigacasting’ Process

Tesla is at the forefront of a technological breakthrough in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing that has the potential to transform how EVs are produced and significantly reduce production costs. The company’s innovative approaches, including ‘gigacasting’ and 3D printing using industrial sand, are reshaping the industry.


Tesla pioneered the use of massive presses with clamping pressures ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 tons to create the front and rear structures of its Model Y in a process known as ‘gigacasting.’ This innovative technique substantially lowered production costs and outpaced competitors in the industry.

Streamlining Underbody Production

To further enhance its manufacturing capabilities, Tesla is nearing an innovation that could allow it to die-cast nearly the entire complex underbody of an EV in a single piece. Traditional cars require about 400 parts for this component, while Tesla’s approach seeks to consolidate it. This innovation aligns with Tesla’s “unboxed” manufacturing strategy, aiming to produce large sub-assemblies simultaneously and assemble them.


Tesla’s groundbreaking design and manufacturing techniques enable the company to develop a new car from the ground up in just 18 to 24 months, significantly faster than most rivals, which typically take three to four years.

Potential Impact on Future EVs

Tesla’s ability to produce a single large frame combining the front and rear sections with the middle underbody, where the battery is housed, could be applied to its small EV model, targeting a $25,000 price point by the mid-2020s. This innovation may disrupt traditional car design and manufacturing processes.


Tesla’s breakthrough relies on the design and testing of massive molds for large components. It incorporates 3D printing and industrial sand to create molds, allowing for intricate designs and hollow subframes with internal ribs to reduce weight and enhance crash safety.

Overcoming Challenges and Tailor-Made Alloys

While creating large molds presents challenges and costs, Tesla addressed these issues through innovative methods. The use of 3D printing with sand casting significantly reduces costs compared to traditional metal prototypes, allowing for rapid design adjustments.


Tesla also formulated special aluminum alloys and optimized the alloy cooling process to meet crashworthiness and performance criteria for its castings. After achieving prototype molds, Tesla can transition to final metal molds for mass production.

Factors Influencing the Manufacturing Process

The decision to cast the underbody in one piece may lead to different approaches, including the choice of gigapress type and its impact on car frame complexity. Tesla may require larger gigapresses with clamping power exceeding 16,000 tons, necessitating larger factory buildings. The choice between high-pressure for productivity or slow alloy injection for quality remains a consideration.


In conclusion, Tesla’s groundbreaking manufacturing techniques, such as ‘gigacasting’ and 3D printing with industrial sand, are poised to revolutionize EV production, aligning with Elon Musk’s vision of producing cost-effective EVs at scale. These innovations represent a significant step towards the future of electric vehicle manufacturing.