Does Tesla 3D print parts? If so, what? If not, why not?

Does Tesla 3D print parts? If so, what? If not, why not?

I just watched a video on Local Motors and it got me thinking... Does Tesla make any parts for their cars by 3D printing them? I know that SpaceX rockets are 3D printed but how about Tesla parts? Any info would be appreciated as I'm starving for Model 3 news.. and my mind wanders! lol

Octagondd | 23 dicembre 2016

Not sure, but I believe only a few parts in the SpaceX rockets are 3D printed, not the whole thing. | 23 dicembre 2016

3D parts are very slow to make, and often cost 100x or more than mass produced parts. Rarely suitable for mass production. 3D parts can work great for very low production (i.e. rocket parts) where you might make 10 or less a year.

Red Sage ca us | 23 dicembre 2016

When 3D printing works as quickly as R.eplicators in Star Trek, perhaps then it will be used in large scale production. For now, the process is far too slow.

d.r.coursol | 23 dicembre 2016

Thanks Red Sage ca us.... maybe in the near future... I guess if it was really do-able and effective Elon would be doing it! Cheers!

brando | 23 dicembre 2016

3D printed parts can save time/money on complex parts

https://youtu. be/DNedUZxP8NU

jet engines
https://youtu. be/W6 A4-AKICQU

PaceyWhitter | 24 dicembre 2016

3D printing is a great way to produce one off parts or customized parts. It is not a good way to mass produce parts.

brando | 26 dicembre 2016

Tell that to GE, SpaceX or some turbo manufacturers. Depends, you have to do the calculations. And 3D printers and materials are improving FAST, so don't depend on last years figures. The two above video links aren't one off or customized, but actual production parts.

andy.connor.e | 27 dicembre 2016

3D printing is a good way to avoid having the manufacturing equipment to cut and "mold" a product in a certain shape. But at 500,000 cars per year, they would need an entire fremont factory solely 3D-printing. Even then, i dont know enough about it to say that would be sufficient. I think they have weighed the costs and benefits enough to know what the best decision is.

topher | 27 dicembre 2016

The argument could be made that ALL SpaceX parts are one-offs. They also have need for extremely complex and novel parts. What parts are currently required for a Model 3, that haven't been made for years in conventional ways?

Thank you kindly.

dave.m.mcdonough | 27 dicembre 2016

The only place it has in manufacturing would be parts that couldn't be molded, such as plastic part that's mostly hollow with supports or something. But I can't imagine what would make sense for the car, especially given how slow it is.

Tesla46 | 27 dicembre 2016

Really? How many there really know, that 3D duplicators/printers have been used for years by the big manufacturers?

dave.m.mcdonough | 28 dicembre 2016

not for production..

brando | 30 dicembre 2016

When aircraft makers manufacture metal parts, up to 90% of the material is being cut away. 3D printing metal parts uses less energy and reduces waste to a minimum. Especially, as the finished 3D printed product can be up to 60% lighter compared to the machined part. The aviation industry alone saves billions of dollars through this weight reduction, mainly on fuel.

DTsea | 31 dicembre 2016


3d printed metal parts are weldments. the mechanical properties are far inferior to wrought (plate and forging) product forms, and metal printers are very slow and expensive. so far, they have very little penetration except for parts with geometry that is impossible to make otherwise.

brando | 2 gennaio 2017

DTsea - can't read or just refuse to read, or refuse to change original knowledge. hint above links

OR if you think you are correct, don't fly any engined planes from GE.

Frank99 | 2 gennaio 2017

Well, DTsea is right - the mechanical properties of 3D printed parts are inferior to those built from bulk metal (think the triple-degassed Titanium alloys used in jet engine fans). However, there are so many parts used in industry (like the linked sensor housing) where strength isn't an issue, but where the shape is. The news in that story is industry moving from the thinking that 3D printed parts are expensive, slow, and only for prototyping to the thinking that 3D printing is now another tool that can be used in production.

brando | 28 febbraio 2017

So Frank99 - can you explain GE video above??

DTsea | 28 febbraio 2017

I am very familiar with the GE parts. They are replacing brazed parts with Ti powder metallurgy 3d printed parts. They are non structural parts like fuel injectors. Structural parts like turbine blades are grown (single crystal) or cast or composite (fan blades).

Brando sorry but you have displayed lack of knowledge when you just look at a marketjng video.