Tesla is closing in on a new manufacturing process that could significantly reduce costs and increase production of its electric vehicles. The new process will enable the automaker to die-cast almost the entire vehicle underbody as a single piece instead of building out about 400 parts using conventional car-building techniques.
Tesla’s current process to build its popular Model Y SUV already involves a unique use of massive, ultra-high pressure presses that can mold both the front and rear parts of the vehicle. Tesla calls this process “gigacasting,” which some experts say is already highly efficient and cost-effective compared to other automakers’ factories. But now Tesla is looking to up the ante. Tesla’s secret new technique starts with an updated mold-making process using 3D printing and sand.