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Is single peice casting a good or bad thing?

Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
6,062
Chicagoland
It appears that Tesla is looking towards full body casting of the model Y.

hmmmm….

The only thing that comes to mind when full body casting a car in one gigantic press is repairs.

I wonder how many cars are going to be totaled if a part of the casting is damaged. They are looking into casting down to the support of the springs for the suspension.

Of course Tesla could probably cut out a tremendous amount of time by eliminating riveting and welding, but geez....I wonder if it would be possible to repair damage to a large single piece casting.

https://electrek.co/2020/04/24/tesla-model-y-teardown-mega-casting-manufacturing-breakthrough/
 

BluestarE3

Active Member
Apr 2, 2016
4,084
5,158
Norcal
I had the same question/concern when I first read about casting sections of the car as giant pieces. Definitely would reduce costs and production time, and likely improve build quality. But what happens in case of an accident?
 

Jeff3820

Member
Aug 1, 2019
85
62
Wisconsin
One piece casting would provide a higher quality build at lower cost. The one piece casting should be stronger and possibility would be subject to less damage in a crash but I doubt it. As far as repairability it shouldn't make a difference as you're not going to have a casting replaced in a collision. Think of it like a frame in a traditional car...if the frame is mangled too badly the vehicle is usually totaled. A casting should be stronger that a traditional frame so this is an overall improvement.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
No reason castings should be super expensive to repair. Lots of shops can do aluminum welding. Just cut out the bad and weld in a fresh part.

Same with steel cars. Body shops often cut out an entire front or rear clip. Weld a new clip back in.
 

Georgia_Y

Closed
Feb 25, 2020
199
175
Georgia
I doubt it matters if it's casted from a couple large pieces like Y or smaller pieces and welded together. In the end, it's a complete frame that you are dealing with. Would be nice if it was truly one piece on Y but looks like they aren't there yet.
 
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Watts 4 Me

Member
May 6, 2016
335
299
H-town
In my opinion,Tesla is doing what they can to cut cost on their end and improve quality at the same time. But building a car that is cheaper to build yet harder to fix in case of an accident,its were the insurance will stick it to the owner.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,444
2,344
In a galaxy far, far away
In my opinion,Tesla is doing what they can to cut cost on their end and improve quality at the same time.
But building a car that is cheaper to build yet harder to fix in case of an accident,
its were the insurance will stick it to the owner.
I wonder what weight more for a car insurance, the safety aspect (medical injury cost and fatality risk) or the car body repair cost?
 

canbonbon

Member
Nov 12, 2017
92
81
Boston
I don't understand how one piece castings would increase repair costs. Please explain.

I think the presumption here is that if you have a small damage, where will you get that small molded part to weld? Since Tesla would only make these giant molds, there won't be any small parts. Hence, in the case of an accident, you'd either need to replace the whole back or potentially buy a new whole back, then cut out a small part from it and then weld it back onto the car. So clearly, replacing the whole back would be a preferred option. However, that would prove to be very costly so most insurance companies would mark this as a total. I think that is what most folks are worried about. It could also be due to lack of clarity on how these would be repaired and how much would that cost. If you own a body shop or have experience in fixing large aluminum body molds, it would be great if you could educate others.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
The 3s frame is steel. The new casting is aluminum.

From what I can see, any accident that intrudes far enough to damage this casting will probably be totaled by the insurance company.

Current crash occupant safety structures are both effective and expensive. Modern cars are overall more expensive to repair than those made in the 70s.

The benefits of a quicker and less expensive construction method far outweighs any potential later crash repair costs.

Overall this new casting system is far advanced than previous metal bending and bonding of many pieces together.

Tesla is constantly looking, with fresh eyes, at the auto manufacturing business.
 
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Georgia_Y

Closed
Feb 25, 2020
199
175
Georgia
I wonder what weight more for a car insurance, the safety aspect (medical injury cost and fatality risk) or the car body repair cost?

The cost to repair is much more significant than safety from what I've seen. The Y is probably the safest car that we own, but is also the most expensive to insure.
 

Mo City

Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
1,910
11,671
near Houston
The 3s frame is steel. The new casting is aluminum.

From what I can see, any accident that intrudes far enough to damage this casting will probably be totaled by the insurance company.

Current crash occupant safety structures are both effective and expensive. Modern cars are overall more expensive to repair than those made in the 70s.

The benefits of a quicker and less expensive construction method far outweighs any potential later crash repair costs.

Overall this new casting system is far advanced than previous metal bending and bonding of many pieces together.

Tesla is constantly looking, with fresh eyes, at the auto manufacturing business.
I'm not a mechanic, but the bolded seems very obvious to me.
 

DarkNightP3D

Member
Jan 10, 2020
114
86
Raleigh, NC, USA
I wonder what weight more for a car insurance, the safety aspect (medical injury cost and fatality risk) or the car body repair cost?
Definitely repair costs. The liability portion of an insurance policy is typically priced the same regardless of car. It’s the comprehensive and collision that drive up cost of the insurance policy and they’re solely based on the vehicle’s probability of claims and the cost to repair said claims. At least that’s been my experience in a past life as a State Farm agent. ;)
 
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HarleyW

Member
Apr 14, 2020
47
37
Denver, CO
The 3s frame is steel. The new casting is aluminum.

From what I can see, any accident that intrudes far enough to damage this casting will probably be totaled by the insurance company.

Current crash occupant safety structures are both effective and expensive. Modern cars are overall more expensive to repair than those made in the 70s.

The benefits of a quicker and less expensive construction method far outweighs any potential later crash repair costs.

Overall this new casting system is far advanced than previous metal bending and bonding of many pieces together.

Tesla is constantly looking, with fresh eyes, at the auto manufacturing business.
The model 3 is unibody and has no "frame"

How does saving tesla money building the car outweigh the repair costs. The insurance and repair costs for all teslas in a few years when they are out of warranty are going to shock some people.
 

E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
146
116
Vancouver
Exactly, this is not just a Tesla issue.

Frame gets damaged = totaled in most cases
This is actually not true, at least not here in Canada and I suspect it wouldn't be true in most of the USA as well. Frame damage is absolutely not a death sentence for a car as long as the value of the car is high enough. Here the write off threshold is like 70% of the value of the vehicle. If you get structural damage on your $5000 civic, ok, its probably going to be a goner but your $50k car, they do get fixed and the structure gets pulled straight.
However, structural battery pack and solid castings front and rear I suspect will see the wrecking yards eventually flooded with trashed teslas. It will be really easy to say the battery is compromised and needs to be replaced which really pushes the costs of repair up but I guess that really depends on how the structural battery pack is done.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,495
856
Bay Area CA
Yeah right... :rolleyes:

There are way fewer parts in an EV than any gasser. Mechanical repair and (dis)assembly is going to be simpler so long as you can source the parts.

- MY castings come from Fremont (Nevada initially)
- Shanghai is producing castings
- Austin has started producing castings
- Berlin will produce castings

By end of 2021 there'll be factories mass producing castings on nearly every continent.

I doubt there are huge numbers of old Roadsters, MS, and MX cluttering junk yards. Any that show up are bought and stripped for parts. Battery packs, even from clapped-out Leafs, were particularly sought after by offgrid home owners.

The model 3 is unibody and has no "frame"

How does saving tesla money building the car outweigh the repair costs. The insurance and repair costs for all teslas in a few years when they are out of warranty are going to shock some people.
 

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