I Think Cybertruck Manufacturing Run Will be Short Lived

CyberBC

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2 things struck me when I read the article posted below. The thick stainless Steel on the Cybertruck is heavy and it will slow the manufacturing process because of the laser-cutting, bending and welding being much slower than stamping, which can be run at 50+ stamps per minute. Also, it would seem that the lack of curves in the truck is detrimental to reducing the co-efficient of drag. So, once the autonomous driving is implemented, why would Elon keep pushing the constrained resource batteries at a Cybertruck Behemoth that is heavy, slow to manufacture and has a poor airfoil. Maybe the robo-taxi fleet will be made from a lighter stamped SS or aluminum and be shaped more in line of an Aptera. After-all if autonomous driving nearly eliminates accidents, why do we need a tough shell other than for bush driving? Even contractors really only need rust proof, strong bed and good towing chassis. Wish I knew the plan.

https://stampingsimulation.com/forming-stainless-steel-part-2/
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Diehard

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2 things struck me when I read the article posted below. The thick stainless Steel on the Cybertruck is heavy and it will slow the manufacturing process because of the laser-cutting, bending and welding being much slower than stamping, which can be run at 50+ stamps per minute. Also, it would seem that the lack of curves in the truck is detrimental to reducing the co-efficient of drag. So, once the autonomous driving is implemented, why would Elon keep pushing the constrained resource batteries at a Cybertruck Behemoth that is heavy, slow to manufacture and has a poor airfoil. Maybe the robo-taxi fleet will be made from a lighter stamped SS or aluminum and be shaped more in line of an Aptera. After-all if autonomous driving nearly eliminates accidents, why do we need a tough shell other than for bush driving? Even contractors really only need rust proof, strong bed and good towing chassis. Wish I knew the plan.

https://stampingsimulation.com/forming-stainless-steel-part-2/
If you make a sensible product that none of your target audience is interested in, you most likely will fail. A large portion of population drive inefficient polluting ugly trucks because they think they look tough. They wouldn’t be caught dead in Aptera especially with current low gas prices. “Tough” is one angle to get into part of that market even if it makes manufacturing less productive. Not all CT reservations include FSD and it would be decades before everyone on the road will have FSD. Even if you have one, you can get hit by someone that does not.
 

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2 things struck me when I read the article posted below. The thick stainless Steel on the Cybertruck is heavy and it will slow the manufacturing process because of the laser-cutting, bending and welding being much slower than stamping, which can be run at 50+ stamps per minute. Also, it would seem that the lack of curves in the truck is detrimental to reducing the co-efficient of drag. So, once the autonomous driving is implemented, why would Elon keep pushing the constrained resource batteries at a Cybertruck Behemoth that is heavy, slow to manufacture and has a poor airfoil. Maybe the robo-taxi fleet will be made from a lighter stamped SS or aluminum and be shaped more in line of an Aptera. After-all if autonomous driving nearly eliminates accidents, why do we need a tough shell other than for bush driving? Even contractors really only need rust proof, strong bed and good towing chassis. Wish I knew the plan.

https://stampingsimulation.com/forming-stainless-steel-part-2/
There were plenty of simulations done on the Cybertruck with wind tunnel software, some by aerospace engineers, after Cybertruck was unveiled. It actually has a low drag coefficient with the vault cover down, and beats pickup trucks and even some cars (sports cars).

The weight of the stainless steel skin is about 800 lbs by my calculation (I used the weight of a similar 6"x6" square of 3mm thick stainless steel that I have, and used a lot of photos and measured the area). That's not a lot considering that the stainless steel exoskeleton will be replacing the traditional truck frame. There will still be aluminum castings underneath to hold everything together (exoskeleton, motors, suspension, battery, tow hitch). And if Elon Musk is to be believed literally, when he talks about the specs he mentions that they are better than the F150 while staying within the same dimensions and weight.

As far as the speed in bending and welding the exoskeleton, it's got to be faster than stamping multiple body panels and welding them together, then applying all the things needed for paint (degreasing?, zinc or anti-rust coating, primer, multi-color paint, clearcoat, heating/drying).

If you've seen any of Tesla's past vehicle unveilings, years before they actually start selling or making them, you would not be doubter.
 

Jhodgesatmb

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I read the 2 articles and was a bit amazed that anyone would say that the correct terminology for torque is lbs-ft vs ft-lbs. Is this really important to the author? I am directly involved in the unit/quantity industry and the common usage of torque is ft-lbf (pound force vs pound mass). Perhaps in the sheet metal industry the common usage is lb-ft but there are many other industries in the world. This is simply nit-picking because units are 'commutative' in that there is no ordering of terms; both are perfectly correct from a notational perspective.

The second thing I noticed was the continued claim that 3mm cold-rolled stainless could be stamped no problem, but the author didn't do the obvious and demonstrate that it can be done 'no problem'. Like most people/engineers (we are people), I find it much more believable when someone shows me something than when someone shows me a table or a simulation. Like many engineers, I know just how easy it is to 'simulate' something and have it turn out the way I want it to. If stamping is the way to go for high-volume CT production, which I think we would all agree is necessary, then the sooner someone demonstrates it to Tesla the better for all of us. And I am talking about the entire exoskeleton.

As others have mentioned, the drag coefficient, which is been simplified as a single term, has been claimed by Elon Musk to be as low as 0.30 (yet to be verified, perhaps based on whether mirrors are required). If proven, that is a pretty good value, especially for a truck.
 
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Thanks for the great replies. Let me add some specific assumptions I am making:

1) FSD Level 5 achieved
2) Multiple jurisdictions have supplied regulatory approval
3) Tesla moves all manufacturing to the production of Tesla fleet TAAS vehicles because the value of TAAS vehicles in Tesla fleet far outweigh open market sale value (See Tony Seba).

Question: If Tesla is only producing robo-taxis and robo-transport for their own fleet, which vehicles would they choose?

My thoughts: I originally thought that the Cybertruck was pure genius in that it would be simplifying the manufacturing process (no paint shop etc.) and is designed without the planned obsolescence so intrinsic to the current ICE industry. Perfect as a robo-taxi especially with all of the seats plus room for cargo. I am now thinking that a robo-taxi probably does not need to be bad-ass and be able to run the Baja. Semis, vans and model Ys would make more sense to me. So, if the time-line of 5 years for Tesla's FSD TAAS to ramp up is accurate, then we probably won't have the Cybertruck produced for more than 5 years. All good news, I think for the goal and will also make the value of my CTruck go up. :):)

What are your thoughts?
 


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Thanks for the great replies. Let me add some specific assumptions I am making:

1) FSD Level 5 achieved
2) Multiple jurisdictions have supplied regulatory approval
3) Tesla moves all manufacturing to the production of Tesla fleet TAAS vehicles because the value of TAAS vehicles in Tesla fleet far outweigh open market sale value (See Tony Seba).

Question: If Tesla is only producing robo-taxis and robo-transport for their own fleet, which vehicles would they choose?

My thoughts: I originally thought that the Cybertruck was pure genius in that it would be simplifying the manufacturing process (no paint shop etc.) and is designed without the planned obsolescence so intrinsic to the current ICE industry. Perfect as a robo-taxi especially with all of the seats plus room for cargo. I am now thinking that a robo-taxi probably does not need to be bad-ass and be able to run the Baja. Semis, vans and model Ys would make more sense to me. So, if the time-line of 5 years for Tesla's FSD TAAS to ramp up is accurate, then we probably won't have the Cybertruck produced for more than 5 years. All good news, I think for the goal and will also make the value of my CTruck go up. :):)

What are your thoughts?
I think Tesla mission is to transition to sustainable energy and they will do what they think is the most rapid way to achieve that. It takes a lot of money to own a fleet of cars worldwide, do I don't think they will ever only produce robo taxis for their own fleet. Vehicles like Cybertruck are not intended to only provide transportation and cargo movement, they are also intended to be used as a work truck. Work trucks will always be exclusive to the user and owning it is still cheaper than leasing.
 

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The thick stainless Steel on the Cybertruck is heavy and it will slow the manufacturing process because of the laser-cutting, bending and welding being much slower than stamping, which can be run at 50+ stamps per minute.
You can stamp small parts 50/min. You can't stamp big body panels that fast. Then they have to be welded together, bent into shape because they flop around...

Scoring and cutting is very fast. As is folding. Sure, there's a point at the number of folds that stamping is faster, but below a certain point, folding is faster.

-Crissa
 

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You can stamp small parts 50/min. You can't stamp big body panels that fast. Then they have to be welded together, bent into shape because they flop around...

Scoring and cutting is very fast. As is folding. Sure, there's a point at the number of folds that stamping is faster, but below a certain point, folding is faster.

-Crissa
Although I like this answer I’d be more convinced if I saw the two in a competition on the same part. Since that is unlikely to happen I will trust Tesla to make the right call as they want to mass produce these vehicles and they are into the factory that builds the factory level of efficiency.
 

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Although I like this answer I’d be more convinced if I saw the two in a competition on the same part.
Watch alot of 'How It's Made'. Hehe.

Scoring is really quick for robots; it's all straight lines with a hard edge. Score deeply with alot of weight, youcan treat steel like glass. Score shallowly and you can the use those points to bend it accurately.

You're right about Tesla focusing on optimizing: by using folding vs stamping, the shapes can run at higher tolerances. Higher tolerances are easier to automate to... the more accurate your parts are, the less robots have issue with alignment.

And the Cybertruck sems to be being designed with fewer panels, pieces, and bends. So simpler to build. If cars were made out of box-tube steel, they'd be super cheap. But no one wants a car like that. Unless it's a Cybertruck.

-Crissa
 

Jhodgesatmb

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Watch alot of 'How It's Made'. Hehe.

Scoring is really quick for robots; it's all straight lines with a hard edge. Score deeply with alot of weight, youcan treat steel like glass. Score shallowly and you can the use those points to bend it accurately.

You're right about Tesla focusing on optimizing: by using folding vs stamping, the shapes can run at higher tolerances. Higher tolerances are easier to automate to... the more accurate your parts are, the less robots have issue with alignment.

And the Cybertruck sems to be being designed with fewer panels, pieces, and bends. So simpler to build. If cars were made out of box-tube steel, they'd be super cheap. But no one wants a car like that. Unless it's a Cybertruck.

-Crissa
Do you suppose they will take a large sheet and do all of the scoring and then put it in a fancy brake and do all the folding and the have robots do all of the welds along the score lines? Will they spot weld or run a bead, or some mixture? I’d love to see what they end up doing in action someday.
 


Crissa

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Do you suppose they will take a large sheet and do all of the scoring and then put it in a fancy brake and do all the folding and the have robots do all of the welds along the score lines? Will they spot weld or run a bead, or some mixture? I’d love to see what they end up doing in action someday.
I think that would sound really easy to automate and Tesla's style. They tend to use what works for each thing exactly, no less, no more, hence being willing to swap out parts as they get feedback. And they're just big enough to do that without worrying about suppliers running off on them.

-Crissa
 

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2 things struck me when I read the article posted below. The thick stainless Steel on the Cybertruck is heavy and it will slow the manufacturing process because of the laser-cutting, bending and welding being much slower than stamping, which can be run at 50+ stamps per minute. Also, it would seem that the lack of curves in the truck is detrimental to reducing the co-efficient of drag. So, once the autonomous driving is implemented, why would Elon keep pushing the constrained resource batteries at a Cybertruck Behemoth that is heavy, slow to manufacture and has a poor airfoil. Maybe the robo-taxi fleet will be made from a lighter stamped SS or aluminum and be shaped more in line of an Aptera. After-all if autonomous driving nearly eliminates accidents, why do we need a tough shell other than for bush driving? Even contractors really only need rust proof, strong bed and good towing chassis. Wish I knew the plan.

https://stampingsimulation.com/forming-stainless-steel-part-2/
Maybe after 5 yeas Elon will come out with the new, updated Alienware Truck, Wolverine edition, Soldier of Fortune, Thundertruck. It doesn't stop here.
 

Crissa

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This is not based upon any evidence.
  • Most light trucks sold are never modified!
  • The most common modification is a toolbox - something the Cybertruck already has four of.
  • The next most common modification is a roof rack - the Model Y supports these, so there is no reason to think the Cybertruck wouldn't.
  • Lastly, you have tonneau covers. Well, the Cybertruck already has one.
There's nothing about a Cybertruck that makes it difficult to modify. It doesn't have paint, and it has multiple hardpoints and attachment rails. It will be the easiest truck to modify. You can weld or screw into the skin almost anywhere!

The one thing you can't do is flatbed it. Which is probably the most common 'made for customization' thing beyond those, but why would that preclude selling the pickup version? Every other major truck brand manages to sell, and in fact, sell more of the pickup version than the flatbed version, don't they?

I'm not going to buy a truck that doesn't have sides, and I have to customize. Same for most people, I'd guess. Flatbeds have their place, but they're kinda crap for camping or hauling most kinds of boxes.

-Crissa
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