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Exclusive Tesla Cybertruck Factory Tour Shows How The Engineers Made It Buildable

Cybertruck Stainless Secrets Ts
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The Tesla Cybertruck has received tons of criticism for the build quality of its edgy, stainless-steel body, with loads of car websites ripping on prototypes and Elon Musk himself  reportedly voicing his displeasure and mandating strict LEGO-like build quality standards. So it’d make sense if you’re curious how the truck is built, and how those mandates are followed; the good news is that manufacturing experts at Munro & Associates have gotten an exclusive tour of the Cybertruck’s body stamping factory. Here’s what they saw.

The stainless steel exterior panels of the Cybertruck are one of its prime standout features, though construction presents some engineering challenges. With no coatings or paint on the panels, the stainless steel must be as corrosion resistant as possible. This requires careful selection of material, as not all stainless steels are as stainless as you might hope. Beyond that, the fabrication process must not mark the panels in the slightest, as there are no layers of primer and paint to hide these sins. To show and explain how Tesla conquered these problems, Munro gets a tour from Lars Moravy, the VP of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla. Along with Moravy’s commentary, we’re treated to insights from a number of Tesla plant crewmembers who stayed back after-hours to share their knowledge. Access like this isn’t something you get every day, either. Some automakers strictly limit even their own employees from sharing video or photography from inside a plant to protect their accumulated manufacturing knowledge.

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It’s Called ‘Hard Freaking Stainless.’ And It Arrives In Rolls

Tesla uses a custom stainless steel alloy for the Cybertruck. It’s referred to as Hard Freaking Stainless, or HFS (yes, really). It was formulated to be hard and highly corrosion resistant while still maintaining enough ductility to be readily formable during manufacturing. As we’re shown in the video, Tesla receives HFS not as flat sheets, but on giant rolls. These must first be unrolled and flattened out before following manufacturing operations can begin.

This is all achieved on a laser blanking line which Tesla developed with Schuler. After the large rolls of stainless steel are uncoiled, they pass through rollers that act as straighteners. This works out any residual internal stresses in the material that would want to keep the material in its curved, coiled state. The process requires finesse, as overdoing things at this stage can “work harden” the material, which would cause it to fail in the bending processes later (a metal’s ability to bend is important when you’re forming it).

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Once flattened, the sheets of stainless steel are cut into blanks using a pair of lasers. Moravy notes that they are currently achieving roughly 80% utilization of the panels. That’s a pretty solid figure, with the rest sent to the line’s dedicated stainless steel scrap collection. A lot of that is down to the shape of the Cybertruck’s panels, which are fairly square, making them easy to nest, Moravy notes. It’s also supported by the fact that the rolls of stainless steel are sized to the specific parts being produced, which also helps reduce wastage.

No Paint To Hide Defects, So Stacking Is Tricky

Once cut, the blanks are carefully stacked by machine, with Moravy explaining that it’s a delicate process. The stainless parts are naturally hard enough to scar each other, so they have to be placed down gently without scuffing or rubbing against each other, causing defects. As Munro notes, it’s typical to cut such parts with a plastic coating on to avoid minor scratches and damage during handling, but Tesla doesn’t do that here. With no coatings, there is naturally less waste and no need to add the step of peeling it off at some point during the production process.

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We’re also filled in on the thickness of the stainless steel used in the Cybertruck’s panels. The doors are 1.8 mm thick, or roughly 0.07 inches thick. The other panels are thinner, at 1.4 mm (0.055 inches). Engineering efforts during the development of the Cybertruck were key to slimming the required thickness down. “We worked hard to get that strength up on the stainless,” explains Moravy. “The original, we were about 2.5, 3 [millimeters thick]… we actually increased the strength of HFS over time.”

Quality Control

Periodic quality checks are carried out on the blanks using a 2D scanner. The camera or machine vision component appears to be mounted quite high above the scanning bed, such that we don’t see it in the video. The outline of the flat blank is compared to a digital template and the system shows markers at various points indicating compliance. It’s a key tool for the team to ensure that panels are being produced to the exact right dimensions, because if the blanks are off, the final parts will be as well.

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Why Tesla Needs Stamping Dies That Wear Out Quickly

Next up, we’re treated to a look at one of the dies used to stamp the inner panels for the front doors. Each door is made up of the flat stainless steel outer, which forms the outside body of the car, and an inner panel that adds structure and serves to mount the interior trim and hardware. “Forming stainless as an A surface is kind of hard because you get drag marks and what not, so we had to work really hard on this process as well” explains Moravy. For those outside the automotive business, a Class A surface basically refers to interior touch points and exterior panels that must have absolutely top-tier surface finish and aesthetic quality.  On a normal car, paint and finishing would hide many flaws, but the all-stainless construction of the Cybertruck doesn’t allow that.

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As you might expect, the stamping die looks pristine, with visibly smooth and shiny surfaces. That’s no surprise, because whether you’re stamping or casting something, the part’s surface finish can only be as good as the die’s surface finish. Thus, to produce high-quality stamped parts that look nice and flat and shiny, you need a die with excellent surface finish just the same.

The die inserts are made with an aluminum bronze alloy on its as this allows the production of stainless steel parts with minimum to no drag marks. The inserts are hardened and have a coating on top to give them the best possible longevity. Aluminum and its alloys aren’t really the most hard-wearing materials for constructing press tooling, but it’s a necessary compromise here to produce mark-free parts. It’s also explained that Tesla is still experimenting with different lubricants for the press process for the best possible results.

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Munro is amazed the aluminum bronze is being used for stamping , but Moravy explains that it’s working well given the constraints. “When you use steel we get drag marks, [but] you know aluminum can’t last, right?” says Moravy. “So we obviously have to replace these inserts a reasonable amount of time but they’re lasting quite a longer than we thought they would.” At this stage, the plant has only run around 1,000 to 1,200 stamps for each part. “I think we’re gonna get about, based on our prototype trials, anywhere from 50 to 100 before we start doing rework” says Moravy. An engineering interpretation would suggest he means 50,000 to 100,000 stamps, not merely 50 to 100. If it were just 50 to 100, there’d be no way to build the Cybertruck in real numbers as the press tools would be getting serviced every few hours.

All in all, it’s clear Tesla has done some novel engineering on the manufacturing side. “I’ve never really stamped stainless steel without a coating” says Munro. “I don’t think anyone has,” replies Moravy. “Certainly not for an A-surface quality part.” Without checking every plant in the world, we can’t verify this, but stainless stamping for automotive isn’t exactly common, regardless.

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We next get to see the hot stamp process, which produces the door rings (or “body side inners”) for the Cybertruck chassis. The line has three furnaces each with seven chambers, which can heat 21 blanks at a time ready to be pressed. The blanks are heated up to 900°C (1652°F) before they are plucked out by a robot and put in the press. The press brings the upper and lower dies together, and holds them in place for around 6 to 8 seconds, with water running through the dies to help quench the part. The parts are then ideally unloaded into racks automatically by a robotic racking system, but it’s not quite implemented yet. The video of this process is only compromised by one thing—industrial safety. If you ever find yourself filming in a modern automotive plant, you’ll quickly tire of trying to shoot through metal grids and plastic shields as I did in my former career.

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‘Airbending’

Perhaps most interesting, though, is the bending process used to produce the Cybertruck’s door panels. Moravy refers to the process as “airbending.” Typically, in the sheet steel bending world, that refers to a bending process where the sheet metal doesn’t fully bottom out in the tool, versus bottom bending, where it does. But the airbending process used on the Cybertruck panels actually involves a cushion of high speed air blown through the bottom press tool to float the metal panel. When bending a door panel, the bottom surface is left unmarred by the tool because it sits on this cushion of air. This surface then becomes the outer surface when assembled on the car. The upper press tool does contact the inner side of the outer door panel, but as this isn’t seen, the small amount of marring that does occur is not a problem.

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Bottom bending and the typical “air bending” method, as the term is used in sheet metal fabrication. The latter is so named for the air gap in the bottom of the tool. However, the workpiece is in contact with both the top and bottom press tools. 

 

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A rough diagram of how the Cybertruck’s panels are bent using an “air bending” method to avoid marring the outer surface of the door panels. Note that the air may pass through the lower tool in a different manner, as we are not directly shown how the tooling works. Regardless, the basic concept is of floating the metal on an air cushion to avoid the lower tool marring the surface.

We get to see one of the door production cells in action. A robotic arm with what appears to be a suction gripper picks up a stainless steel blank. It then places it in the air bending tool, with a Trumpf TruBend 5320 press performing the first bend in the part. The robot then rotates the work piece so the second bend can be performed. The part is measured by the bending machine during the process to ensure the bends are to the correct angle. The parts have a 5mm (~0.2 inch) internal bend radius according to Moravy. Once complete, the robot delivers the part to an output conveyor where it can be retrieved from the cell.

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Notably, even though only the outer side of the door panel gets an air cushion, even the inside door panel surface looks great. Minimal marring is visible in the video, though it would be likely more apparent in real life. The door panels may be just millimeters thick, but that doesn’t mean they’re not tough. “It takes about 75% of the side crash loads, just through the panel itself,” Moravy explains. He notes the extra thickness versus the other Cybertruck panels provides desirable stiffness in this area.

Trying To Keep These Unpainted Panels Looking Good Is Like Walking On Eggshells

The door panels themselves must be assembled, with the simple bent outer paired with the pressed inner. Naturally, this poses a challenge—how do you join the two without marking particularly the outside panel?

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It’s actually a fairly straightforward process. The inner door panel first gets welded to a hinge reinforcement panel for added strength. The combined part is then laid atop an exterior door panel. A laser welding process runs around the perimeter of the inner panel, welding it to the back side of the exterior panel. It took a great deal of tweaking over many months to achieve this process without heat marks, distortions, or burn through being apparent on the outer surface of the Cybertruck’s doors.

There are some minor burn marks that are visible on the welds between the inner and outer door panels on the back side; where these are visible in the final product, a laser ablation step burns these off. The outer door panel also has two sound-deadening pads stuck inside to dampen noises and vibration. Final finishing of the door is achieved by a pair of robots with buffing pads that run over the complete door.

“As you can see, with all the equipment, we’re ready to roll at like, high volume,” says Moravy, while noting that the plant is currently not operating at full speed. He explains that quality is the first priority, with production running slowly until that task is mastered. One thing that’s also apparent in the video are the swathes of unused space on parts of the factory floor. For now, some of it is taken up with parked construction vehicles, but in time, it could prove useful space to add more manufacturing capacity.

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We also get some side manufacturing lessons, too. Munro pays great credit to the supplier choices for tooling at the plant. It’s very much personal taste, of course, but engineers like Munro place great stock in the lessons learned from industrial experience. He quotes an old adage he lived by in his manufacturing days—”Don’t save me any money, I can’t afford it,” says Munro. It’s a sage piece of advice. While some brands of machinery may be more expensive, if they produce better parts, fewer defective parts, or cause fewer problems for engineers to solve, they probably save far more money in the long run. The initial cost of a machine is often quite small compared to the potential losses from downtime when a broken machine can’t make parts and holds up a whole plant.

Overall, it’s rare that an automaker welcomes in a video crew to show you exactly how they’re doing something. It’s even less common when it’s something brand new and interesting. Obviously, the Cybertruck and its stainless steel construction are fairly unique and novel, and it’s probably unlikely any other automakers will be rushing to replicate its work. In any case, though, it’s always interesting to learn about how cars are made, especially when they’re a bit weird like this one. It’ll be interesting to see how Tesla is able to crank up volume, and whether the company can keep the quality up.

Image credits: Munro Live via YouTube screenshots, Lewin Day (diagram)

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Querty
Querty
6 months ago

Curious to learn how much air pressure is needed to make the airbending thing work

InkyLeopard
InkyLeopard
6 months ago

Say what you will about the final product and who owns the company, but this feat of manufacturing and automation is super cool. This whole concept is absolutely silly but a bunch of smart folks made it happen anyways. I work in industrial controls and maintenance, so I love to see how companies find novel ways to build things (and imagine what the maintenance techs are going to be griping about).

The quote about buying cheap equipment is true. I’ve had employers that wanted to save money by hanging onto dinosaurs or buying bargain-bin machines, and inevitably I had to constantly pamper them just to keep production running. It sucks.

It will be interesting to check in with Cybertruck owners after a few months and see how the trucks are holding up to real world environments.

Ron888
Ron888
6 months ago

This is great stuff.My top level dream is to see how factories are set up for production.Where all the engineering slams into real world reality.From the little i’ve seen,these people must be the world’s smartest.
Imagine starting up continuous belt types processes.Rubber,paper,whatever, they would all be crazy to get going!
Or my personal favorite- how Kodak applies emulsions to their films.It’s so off the charts weird i cant believe it actually works.(see Smarter Every Day youtube channel)
Oops i’m getting a bit off track.
The tasks we’re seeing here arent super demanding but they’re still very interesting. Thanks Tesla,Monro and The Autopian.

Anyways,about truck.I have to say i’m shocked they’re using smooth stainless.Until now i’d assumed the panels were brushed which allows minor repair then re-brushing.
How are they going to repair marks on these? Final buffing will very likely give different reflectivity to a stock panel.Is their laser ablation going to be the solution?

I’m also a bit disappointed the door skins are welded.Hopefully most panels are simple bolt on type for easy replacement

Last edited 6 months ago by Ron888
Torque
Torque
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

The CT doors inner structure and outer (door) skin are welded. Thr other option I can think of would be to use an epoxy.

Typically on a steel or aluminum car door the outer structure of a door’s edges are crimped around the inner door steucture, something not possible to do with stainless steel.

For the CT the door is still mounted via bolts to the vehicle and could easily be replaced if needed.

DadBod
DadBod
6 months ago

so will jilted lovers have to use a special key to scratch angry messages into their ex’s CT?

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
6 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Cordless die grinder with tungsten bits?

John
John
6 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Yes. But given that the Tesla “key” is a credit card, “keying” any Tesla requires bringing your own knife to the fight. It’s still only SS, though, so a $5 metal bit from Ace Hardware will do the job. Getting that scratch out though? Whoo buddy.

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
6 months ago

What a giant waste of good engineering. These are clever solutions to problems that only exist because because Musk pushed through a poorly thought out design with a large number of terrible material choices. Its easy to be taken in by the clever and shiny, but in time this will be seen as ‘The Elon’.

All my life, I have searched for a car that feels a certain way. Powerful like my ego, yet shiny and unyielding like a Cylon. Now, at last, I have found it.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

Maybe. Or maybe we’re not seeing the bigger picture. SpaceX rockets are built of stainless steel but in relatively low numbers. It’s possible that by pushing SS into a consumer product, aerospace alloys will rise in quality and drop in price. Which exactly ties to SpaceX’s mission.

In a way, Tesla drivers are just dogfooding technology meant for other purposes. So, hardly a waste of good engineering.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
6 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

Dude, come on, that’s an extra cynical take. Would you be saying the same thing if it wasn’t Musk Bad at the forefront?

I work in and around manufacturing and machining, and I contend these are clever solutions to problems that, while they were made because of Elon’s ego, were solved by the best and brightest that Tesla hired and whose revelations will impact, and propagate throughout (depending on if they’re patented, or if Tesla lets others license said patents for low-to-no cost) the industry over time.

Stainless steel in any alloy form is a notoriously hard to work material for reasons this and many articles talked about. If they figured out how to scar-free form the material and process it without immense manual intervention, that’s more options for everybody when it comes to building anything.

Take any of the Cybertruck behind-the-scenes videos and pretend Elon left the company years ago to move to Mars. Would you still say it’s a boondoggle on all fronts, or would you be amazed and excited at the technological progress in manufacturing and the boundary pushing?

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
6 months ago

lol – I would be hard on this product no matter who produced it. This is not some low volume high tech flagship designed to draw attention to the brand, but a vehicle that is supposed to be built and sold in six to seven figure volumes. Yet end to end it is filled with hard to manufacture and assemble materials and untested designs – some of which will fail in the field. There is every reason to think the whole cybertruck will be filled with the types of issues that plagued the model X falcon doors.

There is a long list of reasons SS is a poor choice for body panels, and that is before discussing the size of the market for a truck only available in metal sheen or wraps. And suggesting that the work done to create the SS body panels may pay off in some future product, is to admit it’s a poor choice for this supposedly high volume product. If they really wanted to do an exoskeleton there are many composites that would have been a far better choice.

The basic design is dysfunctional, just ask the owners of GM Dustbuster minivans how well a flattened windshield and four foot long dashboard work in the real world. I admire the 48 volt harness, and there was some brilliant engineering work done to bring the cybertruck to production, but the overall design is a horrid joke for what is supposed to be high volume production vehicle.

Tangent
Tangent
6 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

just ask the owners of GM Dustbuster minivans how well a flattened windshield and four foot long dashboard work in the real world.”

Years ago I worked delivering auto glass from a wholesaler to the installers and we despised those damned windshields. No matter how carefully we loaded those things on our racks we still would take two for every one ordered just to increase the crappy odds of getting one to the customer uncracked. On top of being absurdly long, the shape also sucked for sitting safely in a rack no matter which way up you set it.

Ben
Ben
6 months ago

“It takes about 75% of the side crash loads, just through the panel itself,”

Great, so now a Camry dent will total the truck because it has compromised the crash structure.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben

That statement also implies that it’s far stronger than a normal panel. It wouldn’t be capable of handling such loads if it weren’t significantly stronger.

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben

It will be incredibly difficult to get a camry dent. 1.8mm is about 15 gauge stainless. That’s thicker than a commercial utility sink, and crazy hard.

MegaVan
MegaVan
6 months ago
Reply to  Nvoid82

On the flip side. You’re not getting that Camry dent out with a plunger anymore.

Peter d
Peter d
6 months ago
Reply to  Nvoid82

Except that it has big flat surfaces, and few bends or features to add stiffness and strength.

Cerberus
Cerberus
6 months ago

Such brilliant stupidity! I find the engineering and production process fascinating even while being repulsed but the product spec and design. This also answers my question about the thickness of the panels, which were quoted earlier on as being 3mm, which I found the idea of to be bafflingly daft, but they settled on something more reasonable. With all the problem solving that had to be done with the engineering, process, tooling, etc., I’m actually impressed they brought this (almost?) to market as quickly as they have.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago

I’m curious where you take a vehicle like this for bodywork. How did DeLorean owners do it? One of my cars was recently scraped in parking lot and although bodywork has gotten eye-bleedingly expensive, any local shop can fix it.

Is Tesla getting into the bodywork business? Repair by replacement? Do they expect body shops to retool? Or for consumers to take a Star Wars “used universe” aesthetic view of their vehicles’ scrapes and blemishes?

Actually, that last one seems boldest and most environmentally friendly.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago

Considering the gigacastings underneath anything, above anything purely cosmetic damage its almost certainly going to be totalled.

Cerberus
Cerberus
6 months ago

DeLorean body panels were thin covers over composite. IIRC, the cars came with a SS brush for blending in light scratches. Don’t know what they did about damage. The panels could of course be repaired, but what that exactly entailed and the cost of it, how available are/were spares, IDK.

Sklooner
Sklooner
6 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

a good hammer and dolly person could take out dents and then brush them to match, going forwards that will be the only options as some parts like right fenders are all gone

Noahwayout
Noahwayout
6 months ago

It looks like many repairs might be a bolt-off, bolt on affair since they’ve done away with the costly metal repair, prep, and paint. I’m sure panels are quite a bit more expensive than traditional constructed panels but it still might be a wash with those other costs eliminated.

Last edited 6 months ago by Noahwayout
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago
Reply to  Noahwayout

Actually, if you remove the burden of paint/prep, DIY bodywork by aftermarket replacement might become an option.

No wait … Tesla will probably brick the vehicle if it doesn’t recognize the new door panel. Or sue you for $50k.

Noahwayout
Noahwayout
6 months ago

My original comment was along those lines but I quickly came to my senses. HAH

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
6 months ago

On Wheeler Dealers when the flipped a DeLorean it needed some body work. The process was super interesting and required a guy that knew specifically how to do it.

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
6 months ago

If you’re just replacing panels, about any competent machine shop in the Midwest should be able to remake one in an afternoon. If the casting is damaged, well, hopefully your insurance covers a new vehicle.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago
Reply to  Nvoid82

I doubt insurance companies will work with anyone other than established body shops

Ron888
Ron888
6 months ago

I had assumed Telsa would used brushed stainless like DeLorean.At least that can be buffed out then re-brushed.
So it seems these Tesla panels can only be buffed?And that may not work.Even changes in reflectivity may be noticeable!

Tangent
Tangent
6 months ago

The first thing I thought of when reading this was the recent article from an insurance adjuster talking about why vehicles get totalled with way less damage than you might expect. I get the feeling that insurance companies are going to have a hair trigger on sending cybertrucks to auction instead of fixing them…

https://www.theautopian.com/im-an-insurance-adjuster-and-im-going-to-total-your-car-and-hate-doing-it/

Tom T
Tom T
6 months ago

Am I wrong or does it appear from the above story that the inner stamped panels are also stainless? If this is true then that’s better than I expected. I though only the outer polygon style panels would be stainless. Also, have crash safety ratings been released? A lot of freedom hating trolls seem to be jumping onto this idea that it will kill pedestrians and turn passengers into mush, amongst other ridiculous assumptions.

PJ Jeep
PJ Jeep
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

Inner and outer are both stainless. Inner is heated and stamped.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

The guesses that it’ll be very dangerous to pedestrians in an accident isn’t exactly without basis. The shape alone makes it hard to imagine how it’ll have decent safety for pedestrians.

InkyLeopard
InkyLeopard
6 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Not to mention the hard stainless steel panels that will transfer maximum impact force into the pedestrian. The Cybertruck isn’t the only vehicle that’s a pedestrian-killer, but it might be one of the worse ones in the personal vehicle category.

Peter d
Peter d
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

It does seem like they are both stainless, which makes sense because the stainless is difficult to hem and stainless prefers to be welded to stainless.

Alexk98
Alexk98
6 months ago

I think something that is extremely overlooked, partly to the fault of Tesla for not release exact numbers, is the strength and very specifically the hardness of HFS. The reason all cars get scratched and dented so easily is automotive paint is suuuuper soft, and the sheet metal it covers is very very thin, and much softer milder steel. HFS is allegedly a 300-series stainless, which is (generally) much harder as a material, meaning considerably harder to scratch. The reason the shopping cart demo seems to leave the truck unscratched is due to softer aluminum and plastic being unable to scratch the harder HFS.

If this seems unintuitive, that’s fair, it is. Look up demos/experiments online of people trying to break diamonds or other minerals. You can throw a diamond on a cast iron anvil and hit it as hard as you want, but the diamond will be completely unscathed and the anvil gouged. The same principal applies here. How will it perform in the real world, that I will reserve my judgement for, but in theory, it should be very robust relative to what we have.

Automotiveflux
Automotiveflux
6 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I’m also interested in this, maybe there is some insight from Delorean owners about how scratchable their cars are? I’m assuming the stainless used in those is lesser quality than what Tesla is doing

Lardo
Lardo
6 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

the water based paints are much softer than what used to be used.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago

Stop giving visibility to this dangerous POS.

Tom T
Tom T
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

Show us on the doll where the bad man touched you. Bro, you should seek help for your brainwashed hatred of the Cybertruck and Elon Musk. Some serious deprogramming is needed.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

Hahahahaha daaaaamn…

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

Elon probably promised a horse after the bad touching.

FunkMoose
FunkMoose
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

You know, it’s funny. When I was a kid antisemitism was considered a bad thing. Now, you defend it by making jokes about child abuse. But hey at least your hero worship gets you full self driving.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago

Love or hate it, the Cybertruck has to happen. Moon shots like this are how technology gets normalized. Plastic bumpers with styrofoam inserts?! That’s everyday technology now but imagine the conversation when they were being developed in the 80s.

That’s where we are today with Cybertruck. The only reason we’re paying more attention is that company is run by a narcissistic ADHD man-child billionaire.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago

Funny to compare an evolution of safety engineering for pedestrian, to this car that make the situation so luch worse than it already is for them.

Also you forgot nazi vilain between adhd and manchild.

Last edited 6 months ago by Marteau
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

It’d safer for pedestrian impact than a Ford F-150, the best selling truck. Are you protesting that as well?

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Waiting for you to demonstrate that.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

Waiting for you to demonstrate how the Cybertruck is more hazardous than the existing truck. Since you appear to be freaking out about this, I’m sure you have valid data at hand, right?

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

It start already with only hanging around the car, as camisa and others have stated, they’ve cut themselves on the panels. Not hard, except to stans, to imagine what it would do during an impact with a pedestrian.

Last edited 6 months ago by Marteau
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

So you have no data, nothing from production cars, and you have no idea why the Euro pedestrian safety standards actually raised the front of cars, not lowered them. It also appears that you’ve read no analysis of the newer pickups or seen any tests of forward pedestrian avoidance systems vs. Teslas stack. You have research to do.

FunkMoose
FunkMoose
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

What data do you have? Oh I’ll wait for you to stop jerking off to scratch-n-sniff pictures of Elno.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  FunkMoose

Oh no, a random stinky ruminant insulted me! The test of the front pedestrian safety tests are widely available. You should learn how to use a search engine.

FunkMoose
FunkMoose
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Still nothing? Okay then.

FunkMoose
FunkMoose
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Yeah the Tesla also has sharper creases for maximum pedestrian damage.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Considering that the only data for the cybertruck that’s been released has been the head-on collision, I’d love to know how you came to that guestimate.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Frontal area of potential impact zone, height of front frunk edge, effectiveness of forward pedestrian safety systems (as demonstrated by the tests on the 3/Y.) Take a look at the newer BMWs — the similar profile is driven by euro encap standards, but the ugly is all BMW. There’s no reason to believe that this will be worse than the existing trucks, and some reasons to believe it will be better. I too am interested in what the tests will show, though.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

So you, effectively, have no data for that. Just inferences based on similarly shaped vehicles.

That’s fine, by the way, but you should phrase it that way from the get-go. Opinions are not facts.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

My inferences are far more likely to be accurate than the initial comment I replied to, because I have actually logic to back them.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

You’re doing it again. Your logic is no more valid than the logic of the commenter you were replying to.

Inference is opinion until proven factual. You have a hypothesis.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

So my inference based on the fact that I’ve evaluated the state of the current safety system and made some observations based on frontal height are less reliable than “rocket man bad, I’m triggered?” Sure. Whatever.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Because he didn’t explain his logic on the subject doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

You know. If we’re talking about logic

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Well, I am. You’re just trolling.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Nope. Just a slow day at work

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

See above 🙂 Which is kinda a slow day thing, honestly. My original question of “Why aren’t you protesting other trucks” stands however.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Are you asking me that? Cause I have long railed against the size of the modern vehicle in general.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I’ve seen and do understand that, and I do read your arguments. It kinda breaks down when you put semi’s on the same road as small cars though — I’ve lived in Europe and see how those impacts go… yikes. It’s my contention that more advanced safety systems will be the answer here. I know Tesla doesn’t always get it right — the folks hitting parked large sided vehicles comes to mind — but their safety record to date is really good and their software stack is a big part of that. Me? I need a truck. I tow an Airstream on American Interstates, I do woodworking, we do landscaping and haul crap around. I have an F-150 now, and it’s pretty good. The Cybertruck will be better for my needs for various reasons and I’m going to order one soon. The cost of operations of the CT will be far better than my Ford as indicated be my current experience with my 3. Simple, really.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

You know the CT is not euro compliant, right ?
It’s available in the US because of the easier pedestrian safety regulations for trucks but that doesn’t fly in europe.
Also smiled at your claim that euro car where rising their hood, when the contrary is actually happening and all new car have a nose dive as a nose job, longer deformation in the front, and active/passive hoods that damps during a contact with a pedestrian. This truck is gonna damp nothing.
I would suggest you apply your requirement to yourself and check your studies again, first, pal.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

No, the CT is not euro compliant because Tesla didn’t see the need to launch it in that market, given they will have their hands full servicing North America. Noses *did* rise in EU after encap came in — go search on the bitching the porschefiles did when that requirement hit. And you still didn’t explain why this triggers you more than any other pickup the Americas has been dealing with for 100 years.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Yeah right really smart of him to choose to cut himself of the second (maybe 3rd) highest market for teslas, that’s how a smart bosses do it, business wise it’s top notch.
Also laughed again at you making general market assumptions based on evolution of one single low volume sport car, you’re showing a lot, kid.
Just in case you didn’t notice, the 911 increased it’s size in every fucking direction, just proportions wise, it had to be this way.
That’s all for me, do better.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

Yes, American pickup trucks are all the rage in the EU! Nope. They’ll go back wit a midsize at some point when it makes sense. As for the 911 — you missed the entire debate about this I guess. Do better.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

If he was using logic, he would have no trouble imagining a pedestrian separated in two parts in case of contact at even moderate speed.
Send a 1.8mm thick blade, even with “rounded edge” through a piece of flesh at 25mph and see the result.
I see that line at junction of the drl and hood, or worse, at the front fender, and it gives me chills.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

Most of us aren’t as fragile as you are, I guess.

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Really liking your arguments pal, it’s quality. Using vocabulary to touch my ego and virility, really smart. U twelve ?
Keep sucking on that Elon dong, must be real good for you to be so addict to it that it makes you ignore what everyone else says.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

It always comes down to that for people like you. Pathetic. And you never even answered the question: why aren’t you railing against the other pickups? So?

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

My point was not to compare safety tech, but rather to suggest that sometimes putting “ridiculous” stuff into production is the only way to innovate. But if you want a safety innovation comparison: most of us drive around with a small bomb about 2 feet from our faces. And yes, sometimes that tech goes wrong (ahem, Takata) but it’s generally accepted.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Hoonicus
Hoonicus
6 months ago

“Plastic bumpers with styrofoam inserts”

NO NO NO Urethane bumper covers over EPP(expanded polypropylene) bumper cores over bumper beams( function as replaceable crumple zone} over bumper mounts.
EPS(expanded polystyrene, DOW chem. trademark Styrofoam) is a packaging and insulation material only, will dissolve if gas spills on it, and doesn’t recover from compression.

My serious concerns about how much force is required to deform the FHS edge on, in an accident scenario, is unchanged.

Last edited 6 months ago by Hoonicus
Lardo
Lardo
6 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

eps and gasoline = napalm I believe?

GenericWhiteVan
GenericWhiteVan
6 months ago

Is there any carbon steel in the Cyber Truck? So far, I know that the exterior panels are SST, inner doors are SST and giga castings are AL. What about the rest of the vehicle?

Asking for the rust belt.

With all due respect, is seems that manufacturers using carbon steel have done a decent job of rust prevention on modern car body panels. My 2003 Honda Element had zero body rust issues when I traded in after 12 years (yes, it had a lot of plastic outer panels). Even my 8 year old Ram Promaster is looking good after 8 years of western PA winters and only being washed a couple of times.

I bet there will be spin off aftermarket to paint the cyber truck.

Raptor
Raptor
6 months ago

Honestly, I’m impressed. The engineering seems outstanding. I share others’ concerns about long-term repair costs, but for every day scratches, dings, and stains I wonder if Cybertrucks will just develop a type of patina that we all come to regard as normal. After all, each of us drive cars that are painted and scratch and dent easily, so SS isn’t unique in its susceptibility to damage. And I often just live with dings and scrapes on my (old) cars because i’m not paying the thousands of dollars it would cost to fix them. So maybe our “ these trucks are gonna look terrible and get damaged so easily” fears are overblown

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago

I wonder what’s gonna happen to the stainless finish when when a pigeon shits on a cybertruck, or it hits lovebugs.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Get out your Refrigerator Stainless cleaner and do the whole truck like others have to use wax LOL

Paul B
Paul B
6 months ago

I’m very surprised at the lack of plastic film for the outer panels. Yes, it costs more, but it greatly reduces the risk of damage during processing.

As for the environmental impact, I’m sure the could find a plastic that is completely recyclable and their handling of it could ensure keeping it clean.

As for the aluminum-bronze dies. Al-bronze is a common bearing material. It’s not a “soft” material. Neat choice.

Another thing: depending on the stainless steel alloy chosen, the laser cutting and welding can lead to rust forming (surface). No mention how they’re mitigating that risk.

Side note: in aerospace, we don’t usually call it stainless steel, we tend to call it CRES for Corrosion RESintant steel.

10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

In the Isaacson book he mentions an anecdote about Elon trying to speed up the solar roof installation process to be done in a single day. He noticed that hours were wasted right up front just from removing the shingles from their cardboard and plastic and straps just to be thrown away. So he went back to the guys manufacturing the shingles and had them cut all that out because it was wasting time/money on both ends. So reading this bit my first assumption is they’re leaving the plastic film off for the same reasons.

PJ Jeep
PJ Jeep
6 months ago

This is complete nonsense.
I have been assured by the internet commentariat that the Cybertruck is nothing more than a collection of fevered delusions by TwitterManBad.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
6 months ago
Reply to  PJ Jeep

No, bub, but I love you trying to stan here

PJ Jeep
PJ Jeep
6 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

“stan”, bro.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
6 months ago
Reply to  PJ Jeep

tell me again you don’t know anything about cars without, you know

Chronometric
Chronometric
6 months ago

The Tesla engineers are amazing. Creating not only the processes but the scale manufacturing for a vehicle this different is very impressive. You also have to give kudos to the management that told them, this is the job, make it happen, and then shoveled in buckets of money until they got it done.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
6 months ago

Pretty neat, but they could have also just avoided needing to learn all these lessons and ultimately have sold the same amount of vehicles, if not more.

Chronometric
Chronometric
6 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Sometimes engineers excel when given crazy goals. I am sure they learned things and developed processes that can be used in a more productive way. The Cybertruck is really just a very expensive research project.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
6 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Tesla’s job is to profitably manufacture EVs. It’s not to FAFO because of man-child delusions. You gotta put down the Kool-Aid. Not everything that a Musk company does is part of some meta game plan

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
6 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

By “put down the kool aid” do you mean automatically hate everything Tesla does because of who the CEO is? I hate Musk just as much as the next guy and have absolutely zero interest in owning a Cybertruck, but great engineering is great engineering. Horrible take 0/5 stars, do not recommend.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
6 months ago

You can appreciate Tesla but still think that the CT is dumb. I don’t see any thing about automatically hating Tesla in my posts. You’re just (incorrectly) filling in the lines. I own Tesla stock, I like EVs, and I’d ultimately love to own one when I can spring for a new-to-me car purchase. There’s just a very real thing in the industry called “opportunity cost”, and I’m seeing Tesla blow money, effort, and time on a Falcon Door 2.0 when they still haven’t really delivered on the promises of 4680 and a good chunk of their model range is going to lose tax credit support. There’s nothing strategically valuable about how they approached CT, and I think it’s silly. Stop assuming everyone online is some sort of caricature of a hot take

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
6 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Then what’s the problem? Do you disagree with the engineering methods they’ve created to make the truck?

Chronometric
Chronometric
6 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

The CT is a really really stupid commercial endeavor that will never recover its development. However, it is a significant engineering accomplishment. And there is a chance that the engineering developed will eventually be amortized over many other Tesla vehicles.

I think the CT will sell in decent numbers for a while then fall off as the look-at-me factor wears thin. Eventually a CT2 will come along with a more conventional and less expensive design and no one will care. Think H1 Hummer. I also predict that someday, the Cybertruck will be venerated as an oddball retro-futuristic vehicle similar to the Citroen DS21, the Delorean, and the Tucker.

Last edited 6 months ago by Chronometric
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
6 months ago

The manufacturing engineering is truly fascinating on these, but your article confirms a couple of my beliefs.

Cybertrucks will always only be parked in the far abandoned corners of a lot and their alarm systems will be designed to alert if anyone or anything gets within 50 feet. Insurance companies will be totaling them after a pigeon or seagull bombing.

10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Actually the finish is quite robust. All the headlines about being bulletproof are pointless but that same quality basically makes them parking lot proof which is what they should be advertising. In the video below they ram a shopping cart loaded down with a stuntman into the door multiple times with no damage.

See exhibit A:
https://youtu.be/adZztW0YbJ0?si=CwIZlg1-yDP6EJe_&t=1350

Marteau
Marteau
6 months ago
Reply to  10001010

Buddy, everything looks better on video. And they didn’t show close up. The fingerprints all over and well visible from far are disgusting tho.

10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

I’m expecting CT owners will deal with fingerprints on their trucks the same way I do on my fridge, lots of magnets.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  10001010

Unfortunately, being a high grade stainless, its not likely that magnets will stick.

Your fridge is probably made of 304 or 430, which is semi-magnetic.

10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Well there go all my plans for sticking cheap refrigerator magnets on the back of cybertrucks in the Costco parking lot. Unless, I bring some superglue…

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  10001010

I endorse this plan

Ben Trueblood
Ben Trueblood
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

erm. Highly deformed 300-series stainless, i.e. work-hardened stainless, apparently now aka HFS…gets quite magnetic. So, quite likely that magnets might stick.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben Trueblood

HFS is 30X, last I checked. As it is proprietary, we don’t know the exact composition of it. The 300 series ranges from almost completely non-magnetic to fairly magnetic.

Based on how highly corrosion resistant they want this, I feel safe sticking with my statement.

Peter d
Peter d
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben Trueblood

Why is that stainless piece sticking to the magnet, is it really stainless?? Oh shit, yes, forgot we didn’t anneal these parts after forming… although it is likely the big flats are not worked enough to make them magnetic. The first time you see magnetic stainless in the world it is bit confusing because they don’t really teach this in school.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
6 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

If I had a Cybertruck, I would park it in the tightest spots possible. I expect the sentry mode footage to be filled with people trying to dent it. The tighter the spot, the less room they have to wind up their hits.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
6 months ago

Curious, wouldn’t heating before stamping cause color changes to stainless? I could see uniform heating make the colors look the same, but wouldn’t that also require uniform cooling too?
Either way, it looks very impressive to me.

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
6 months ago

Color change tends to be a function of max temperature more than cooling speed. It’s caused by oxide formation, and that is largely temp dependent.

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
6 months ago

It’s so neat to see this kind of detail exposed. One of my first jobs was inspecting laser welded and panel bent stainless. That stuff is nightmarish to try and keep from scratching, not to mention oil stains and grain variations. But if they can get their process dialed in from a quality standpoint, these should be cheap to build. Their “airbend” solution is really cool.

It’s interesting to see this kind of manufacturing tech used to build a car at scale. Funny to think the fridge fab shop could be spitting out cybertruck parts (I have less than pleasant things to say about trumpf machines).

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
6 months ago
Reply to  Nvoid82

Thanks for your experienced take.

I didn’t think Tesla could pull off manufacturing these at scale, but it appears I was wrong. I think the design is hideous, but I appreciate the materials science and manufacturing engineering behind this vehicle. If your cheap to build comment is correct, then perhaps we’ll see more stainless vehicles in the future.

Looking forward to seeing the crash test results.

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
6 months ago

Injecting air into the bottom die is a really clever way to make a boundary layer and limit panel damage. The method I’m most familiar with is using disposable silicone sheets which essentially add a bit of compressibility to the part face.

I am interested in the crash test results too. Looking at the casting, I think it will be fine for occupants, but man those sheet panels give me pause. They look like shrapnel waiting to happen

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
6 months ago

“I didn’t think Tesla could pull off manufacturing these at scale”

They have yet to prove they can.

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