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Gigapress single piece casting introduction

DonaldBecker

Member
Aug 24, 2020
154
179
95033
One topic I haven't seen discussed is the single piece rear casting, as made by the recently installed Gigapresses.

A single piece casting is likely only a minor product improvement over the previous individual side castings. Perhaps eliminating only a few kg and a bit of stiffness. Most of the benefit is in the production process, reducing parts and effort. Even minor and hidden, it's an important detail to many here.

The first gigapress was producing test parts in September. That suggests that rear castings may have been introduced with October production dates, perhaps even coincident with model year 2021

Do we have a guide, starting VIN and identification pictures for the single piece rear casting?
 
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One topic I haven't seen discussed is the single piece rear casting, as made by the recently installed Gigapresses.

A single piece casting is likely only a minor product improvement over the previous individual side castings. Perhaps eliminating only a few kg and a bit of stiffness. Most of the benefit is in the production process, reducing parts and effort. Even minor and hidden, it's an important detail to many here.

The first gigapress was producing test parts in September. That suggests that rear castings may have been introduced with October production dates, perhaps even coincident with model year 2021

Do we have a guide, starting VIN and identification pictures for the single piece rear casting?
I’d love to see more information on this as well. But I think until someone takes their car apart or looks around, or Sandi Monroe does, we may never know.
 

DonaldBecker

Member
Aug 24, 2020
154
179
95033
Here is the section of the Munro tear-down video series that shows the join point of the castings.
The relevant part is at 2:26. (I was unable to get the link tag to skip to that point.)

The single piece casting reportedly incorporates the extruded longitudinal beams joining the casting to the rear bumper beam, and perhaps a few pieces of the surrounding structure, so it's a bigger parts count difference than just the two brackets and a few fasteners. But presumably those differences are more difficult to identify than the joining brackets.
 
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DonaldBecker

Member
Aug 24, 2020
154
179
95033
In this video, from Battery Day, we see the new single piece casting starting at time 0:40:


I'm uncertain what the cylindrical structure in the tow hook area is. Perhaps is simply a casting sprue that is cut off, or an unrelated part cast at the same time But there might be some new structure in that area.
 

DonaldBecker

Member
Aug 24, 2020
154
179
95033
Besides streamlining production, do we know what the benefits are to the driving experience?

Most of the design and performance improvement came from switching to (multiple) aluminum castings.
Changing to a single piece casting is mostly a production simplification. There is some added potential for a more rigid body or better crash performance, especially in the section that was previously an aluminum box beam, but if it was a major opportunity for improvement the designers would have simply bolted more castings there.

I'm wondering if the squat cylinder in the rear is a connection point for a tow connection. Perhaps a hidden type, such as a European gooseneck, or an innovative inverted 'fifth wheel' that moves the pivot point forward.

But based on the position largely behind the rear bumper beam mounting flange, I'm still leaning toward it being a casting sprue.
 
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DonaldBecker

Member
Aug 24, 2020
154
179
95033
I took delivery of my 77xxx Model Y today at the factory.

One of my first interior checks was popping up the rear seat. I have the center bracket that I believe indicates the individual side castings.

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It don't think it does anything for the end user. It (presumably) reduces manufacturing costs.
Thanks for that. I'm not trying to be crass at all, but why do we care so much? It seems there's so much debate and discussion around the gigapress single piece casting but not one material benefit or advantage to the consumer.
 
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Thanks for that. I'm not trying to be crass at all, but why do we care so much? It seems there's so much debate and discussion around the gigapress single piece casting but not one material benefit or advantage to the consumer.

I think of it as structural rigidity. In your house, if you need to span a large distance you’d place something that’s solid and not pieced together. Say you didn’t and it was multiple pieces put together in some way; there’s more failure points in the span that also contribute to more flexing and twisting. You put a solid structure in place to reduce all of that. Hence, a solid single casting in a vehicle is going to result in less flexing, twisting, and an almost complete reduction in potential failure points. They don’t put roll cages and strut braces (and whatever else) in cars for the fun of it. They all help by bringing the vehicle into a more rigid state. The more rigid, the safer it is, and the better the driving experience. Check out Elon explaining the purpose of going to a 3 piece structural body in the Battery Day event, he’s doing it for a reason, and he said it’ll make the vehicle so rigid that you could turn it into a convertible and it would still be stronger than a regular vehicle. Watch him explain it, I’m not doing it justice. Think about it in terms of physics. If there was no added value in terms of physics, then why do it. And YES, it does help in terms of manufacturing, but it goes way beyond that too, think way outside the box, the same way Elon does. There’s more benefit than we can understand, but we don’t care to completely understand. If we can’t physically see the benefit (new center console, metal scroll wheels, USB in the glove box, etc., etc.) then why do we care? I’d rather have a safer more rigid car that will perform better in daily driving or in an accident than some visual upgrades. Just my input, right or wrong.
 
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imola.zhp

Member
Jul 13, 2020
488
322
Memphis
Will single piece casting have repair challenges? If the casting damaged by an accident, can it be repaired or will the car need to be totaled. Not sure if you'd be able to buy a casting to repair.

If the casting is impacted the car is likely totaled anyway.

Two pieces (and a few pieces that join the two) are becoming one piece, its nothing more or less than that. If half of the older casting were damaged the car would also be totaled, so the car is no more or less reparable than before.
 
If the casting is impacted the car is likely totaled anyway.

Two pieces (and a few pieces that join the two) are becoming one piece, its nothing more or less than that. If half of the older casting were damaged the car would also be totaled, so the car is no more or less reparable than before.
Who cares if it’s totaled or not. Did your family live because the vehicle held up better, and didn’t split in two because the welds failed, and caused the vehicle to buckle in all of the weld points? Why are we trying to find the negatives, when we should realize the benefits of what’s going on. Big deal, it’s totaled, it can be replaced. But can we replace a human life? Elon wants the safest cars on earth, and he’s doing that by reducing any potential failure points. Unless I misunderstood the point you were making.
 

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