After beating a hasty retreat some 10 years ago, California-based electric carmaker, Tesla, is back in Singapore after their sales portal went live in the garden city with prices of their base model, Model 3, revealed.
This move was not unexpected after the company was spotted going on a recruitment drive for Singapore positions last year, and comes after the Singapore 2021 Budget had included sweeter incentives to encourage greener vehicles, as well as a plan to expand the EV charging network exponentially across the island.
Said to be years ahead of other electric vehicle manufacturers in EV technology, do you know that Tesla is also in the 3D printing game even though they are not very open about it.
The march of progress in 3D printing adoption is evident in the automotive industry especially among companies like Porsche, BMW, General Motors, Ford, among others. This is evidenced by the rapid growth of the market value of 3D printing in the automotive space, which is projected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023.
Just last year, Michigan-based company Munro & Associates discovered in a disassembly of their Model Y car that Tesla had used a 3D printed part to possibly cover a manufacturing fault in the car’s HVAC system.
The part was bonded onto the airbox with some adhesive, and a closer inspection revealed stepped lines and toolpaths, and was evidence that the component has been manufactured with some kind of FDM-like 3D printer.
From the video, it can be assumed that the 3D printer part had been a quickfire solution to meet a tight deadline, rather than waiting for a new mold tooling to arrive. This showed how 3D printing is cheaper and quicker to churn out replacement parts on short notice to keep running until the real deal arrives.
The same year also saw Tesla experimenting with a 3D printed prototype part for a rear underbody component of its Model Y. The assembly would consist of 70 metal parts, but Tesla’s prototypes showed off a huge print consisting of just 2 pieces, and the firm apparently hopes to get this down to a single printed piece using generative designing.
While Singapore remains one of the most expensive places in the world to own a car (no thanks to the COE system), this move by Tesla could see a progressive uptick in the take up of electric vehicles here especially with the Singapore government pushing ambitiously to be a greener and car-lite nation by 2030 and beyond.