Why are laser-cut body panels and pieces not used on cars?


I was recently watching a Tesla review on Youtube and the person reviewing it said that the door handles are designed to be as flush as possible. However, I’ve seen many examples of metal and other materials being laser cut where they sit so flush you can’t even see the cut. Why, as a design element or even from a practical standpoint, is this not utilized on things like vehicles more often?

In: 3

Maybe it has changed but at first Tesla was now for having horrible fitment.

The more precise you get the more expensive things get, when you get so flush you can’t even see the cut even the slightest vibration or bumb can fuck something up.

Lasercutting takes time. For larger parts, stamping can get “good enough” far quicker.

Remember, most factories aren’t building just one car at a time. Time is money. Your more limited-production vehicles may take the time, but those vehicles tend to have a higher price tag than mass-production vehicles.

Think about cost vs use. Laser cutting is for precision cutting and is a relatively slow process for the example you provided. This would make the cost to tesla increase drastically. Whereas a punching die /press is very fast. literally feed the metal sheet in, press the button, press rams down on sheet, once the ram retracts pop the sheet out and it is in the shape you want (maybe send it through a second or third die if the geometry is too complicated or tight for a single press). So as with all machining processes it is a balance between time and cost against quality.

An example of when laser cutting has been used for car body panels:

The Rover 400 estate car was built from the standard saloon car side-body panels that were laser cut to remove unwanted rear areas and had new panel material then welded on.

It was calculated to be cheaper to do this than to create an entire estate car body side

Laser cutting provided the necessary accuracy.

This processing was done out of house by a specialist company.


* Estate car = Station wagon

* saloon car = sedan