Motortrend: How Tesla’s Cybertruck Turns Auto Manufacturing Upside-Down

Motor Trend makes some interesting points regarding the stainless steel design of the Tesla Cybertruck:

The plusses for a folded stainless steel, origami truck are compelling: no paint shop and no expensive tooling. No Godzilla-scale stamping machines stomping it with multiple strikes. Without all that, the capital and environmental costs of using stainless steel body panels are small. And big attractions for a company that’s sensitive to both types of green—cash and environmentalism. Just groove the steel where it’s supposed to fold (avoiding cracks) and bend it on simple, cheap machines (like I was actually doing last week with my garage vise!)

Motor Trend

So, you’re telling me that the Cybertuck’s design will be less capital intenseive, help production move faster… and be more environmentally friendly to boot?

I haven’t heard many people talking about this aspect of the design.

Brilliant … but prickly with trade-offs. Unlike the strength-to-weight efficiency of compound curves (feathery eggshells are the epitome), the flat-ish planes between the Cybertruck’s simple bends require greater thickness to resist buckling compression loads or wrinkling oil-canning. Adding weight.

To counter this? Ditch the heavy, traditional, body-on-frame, and rethink the structure as weight-efficient trussed bridge in its simplest load-spreading configuration: a triangle set on its hypotenuse. One side is the Cybertruck’s wedgy cab, the other, its tapered, sail-sided bed, their meeting point at the truck’s tall peak resulting in a huge cross-sectional area for maximum stiffness.

Motor Trend

Genius. The reason for the Truck’s shape is that it reduces weight by serving as the structural frame of the vehicle.

 Now, the “machines-that-will-build” the Cybertruck will go dramatically skinnier, scaling the dreadnaught down to simple dinghies that groove and bend (with the $200 million paint shop getting an auditor’s line drawn through it). Real progress is assembled from the debris of failures.

Motor Trend

Read the full story at Motor Trend

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