IDRA Group is a Tesla supplier that provides the automaker with ultra-large Giga Presses or Giga Casting machines. This Italian Giga Press manufacturer has been teasing an upcoming 9,000-ton Giga Casting machine for the last couple of weeks.
IDRA posted a video of this giant casting machine getting assembled. This video was shared on YouTube and the company’s other social media channels at the end of last month.
As this video started to drive a discussion momentum within the online Tesla Community, Tesla CEO Elon Musk ended the rumors by confirming that the world’s first 9,000-ton Giga Press is actually for the Cybertruck body.
On 16th March 2021, IDRA Group announced that they had secured the first order for an 8,000-ton Giga Casting machine from Tesla and the company has started working on this project.
But the General Manager of IDRA Group Riccardo Ferrario confirmed in his video message at the time that this 8,000-ton version is for the Cybertruck’s large underbody castings, not the body of the electric pickup truck.
After a few days of this announcement, a drone video of the then under construction Tesla Giga Texas showed that the automaker had already set up the foundations for the 8,000-ton Cybertruck underbody Giga Casting machines at the factory (screenshot below).
However, Musk hasn’t confirmed if the 9000-ton Giga Press is going to replace the 8000-ton version or if both of these will be used to make different underbody Giga Castings for the Cybertruck.
The exterior body of the Cybertruck is an exoskeleton unibody shell that has the pickup truck’s cockpit integrated into it. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had already shared this information at the time of the Cybertruck unveiling back in 2019 (see Tesla’s official illustration below).
Since the outer shell of the Cybertruck exoskeleton is made of 30X cold-rolled stainless steel, the metal is molded to form the body. It’s hard to mold a hardened stainless steel sheet to give it a shape or form and we have yet to see a solution that works in a mass-production environment and the Cybertruck production is due next year.
At the start of 2021, Elon Musk said, “With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made“.
Tesla is already successfully using the 6,000-ton Giga Casting machines at all of its factories to produce the Model Y-front and rear underbody single-piece castings. These are currently the largest Giga Casting machines used in mass vehicle production.
Hopefully, we will be watching the new 8,000-ton and 9,000-ton versions of these giant casting machines in action next year at Tesla Giga Texas as Cybertruck production starts at this factory.
Update: Article updated for corrections.
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