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Giga Press
Die Casting Machine #2 at Tesla Factory, Fremont, 2020
ClassificationHigh-pressure die-casting (HPDC)
IndustryMetal casting
ApplicationCar chassis production
Dimensions19.5 m × 5.9 m × 5.3 m
64 by 19 by 17 feet
Weight410–430 tonnes
900,000–950,000 lb
Fuel source Electric
  • 2 × 132kW motors [1]
  • 4 × 90kW motors [2]
  • OL 9000 CS (Idra)
  • OL 6100 CS (Idra)
  • DCC 6000 ( LK)

The Giga Press program is a series of aluminium die casting machines manufactured for Tesla, initially by Idra Group in Italy. Idra presses were the largest high-pressure die casting machines in production as of 2020, with a clamping force of 55,000 to 61,000 kilonewtons (5,600 to 6,200 tf). [2] [3] Each machine weighs 410–430 tonnes (900,000–950,000 lb). [2] [3]

Base specification Giga Press machines were included in Idra's catalogue in 2018. [4] Tesla began using a custom OL 6100 CS Giga Press in late-2020 for integrated die-casting production of chassis parts for the Tesla Model Y. [5]

Shots of molten aluminium weighing 80 kilograms (180 lb) are injected into the cold-chamber casting mold with a velocity of 10 metres per second (22 mph; 36 km/h). [6] The cycle time is ~80‒90 seconds, [2] allowing an initial output rate of 40‒45 completed castings per hour, or ~1,000 castings per day.


Giga Press in closed position during casting + after removal of previous casting; and in open position for robot removal of casting + cleaning.

Die casting works by forcing molten metal alloy inside a reusable mold, then opening the mold to remove the finished piece after it cools and solidifies. The opened mold is cooled to 185 °C (365 °F) and cleaned by robots, and fresh molten aluminium is prepared for the next cycle to begin 1‒2 minutes after the first cycle. Each fresh casting is trimmed to approximate size, measured, checked for imperfections, and sent for CNC machining to finished size. [7]

Ingots and off-cuts of aluminium are melted in a natural gas-powered melting oven operating at 850 °C (1,600 °F), until liquid. Slag in the form of aluminium oxide is mechanically removed from the surface, and the rest of the liquid metal is pumped through heated pipes to an enclosed warming oven operating at 750–850 °C (1,400–1,600 °F), heated using 400 kilowatts (0.4 MW) of electrical power. To prevent the formation of oxides, a tank blanket of nitrogen gas covers the molten aluminium, which is circulated to maintain an even temperature. Argon gas and a rotary- degasser are used to remove impurities, with a silicon carbide filter removing most other particles larger than 25 micrometres (1 thou). [7]

At the beginning of each casting cycle robots spray 35 millilitres (1.2 imp fl oz; 1.2 US fl oz) of soybean oil in a thin layer inside each half of the mold to allow separation. The mold is closed, and a low vacuum of 50 millibars (50 hPa) created by pumping the air out. A precise amount of molten metal is pumped from the holding oven into the casting chamber at 750 °C (1,400 °F), and forced into the mold using a high-speed plunger with an additional 8 millilitres (0.28 imp fl oz; 0.27 US fl oz) of lubricant. The mold is opened, and the raw casting removed at 400 °C (750 °F).[ citation needed]

A robot reaches in and removes the casting, placing it in a quenching tank to reduce the temperature from 400 to 50 °C (750 to 120 °F). A mechanical trim press cuts the approximate edges, recycling excess aluminium into the melting oven. The remaining useful part of the casting is X-rayed to check its internal structure, trimmed by laser, drilled for fittings, and then computer-measured for precision. [7]

Die structure

Tesla's Model Y rear casting dies have four known visible parts: [8] [9]

  • two large classic main facing dies, oriented vertically with injection from the bottom of the immobile one.
  • two smaller side wedging dies, moving in for injection and out for removal.

The front casting suggests an identical die layout, with a possible fifth wedging die underneath (process) for the front-facing (car) crash rail mount. [10]

Metal alloy

Sandy Munro analysed a Model Y casting in 2021 and reported that the casting aluminium alloy used in the large Tesla chassis parts is primarily an aluminium 89.5%‒ silicon 8.5% mix, plus several other trace elements, falling within the categorisation of aluminium Association alloy "AA 386":

Analysed alloy composition of Tesla Model Y megacasting [11]
Element Name Percentage
Al Aluminium 89.482%
Si Silicon 8.525%
Cu Copper 0.790%
Mn Manganese 0.455%
Fe Iron 0.277%
Mg Magnesium 0.075%
Zn Zinc 0.020%
V Vanadium 0.015%
Ti Titanium 0.013%
Ni Nickel 0.009%
Zr Zirconium 0.005%
Pb Lead 0.004%
Sb Antimony 0.000%


Vacuum inside the closed mold is achieved using a 4,000-litre tank made by Fondarex in Switzerland. [12]

Molten metal is pumped through heated pipes, and rotary degassing is performed to reduce porosity. [13]

Steps and machinery involved: [ citation needed]

Internals of second Tesla-customised Idra OL 6100 CS Giga Press, with gap for die casting molds, between plattens and moving compression toggles



Gigacasted part of Tesla chassis

In 2019 Jerome Guillen indicated that Tesla Automation were working on a "giant, giant, giant machine" to "make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made". [14]

With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made

Elon Musk, (18 January 2021) [15]

In April 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla had purchased the two biggest casting machines in the world to cast the Tesla Model Y rear chassis and crash rails. [16] [17] In January 2021, Musk stated that the rear chassis of the Tesla Cybertruck would be produced using a casting machine larger than 8,000-tonne-force (80,000 kN). [18][ verification needed]

As of October 2021, Tesla had five casting machines installed at Giga Shanghai, two machines installed at Tesla Factory in Fremont, two machines installed at Giga Berlin, and two machines going into Giga Texas—plus foundations in preparation for many additional Giga Press machines.[ citation needed]

Compression plates of OL 9000 CS (9000 tonne·force) Giga Press, photographed in Italy during Idra Open House tour (2022)

During May/June 2022, Idra were assembling a 9,000 tonnes-force (88,000 kN) Giga Press.[ where?] [19] As of December 2023, two 9,000 ton presses were available at GigaTexas to cast Cybertruck rears, while Cybertruck front castings are cast on a 6500-ton press that is shared for casting Model Y frames. Total GigaPresses at Texas were two 9,000 ton plus four of the smaller presses. [20]


Robot immediately after removing completed Tesla Model Y rear megacasting from Die Casting Machine #1 (DCM1) at Tesla Factory in September 2020

In June 2020, permits for foundations to support the Giga Press at Fremont were issued [f 1] [f 2] with Tesla filing permit applications for construction work in preparation for Die-Casting Machine #2 ( DCM2) in July 2022. [f 3] [f 4] During September 2020 DCM1 started producing trial runs of Model Y castings and DCM2 had been installed. [21]

On 11 March 2021, one of the Fremont presses suffered a fire, caused by molten aluminium igniting hydraulic fluid. No injuries were reported. [22]


As of July 2020 plans for Giga Berlin included eight 6,100-tonne-force (60,000 kN) die casting machines. [23] [24] (Located at 52°23′49″N 13°47′35″E / 52.397°N 13.793°E / 52.397; 13.793 (Tesla Die Casting Machine building: 8 foundations for Giga Press / 6100-tonne).)

European Model Y cars have front and rear cast chassis sections. [25] The first two European Giga Press machines were planned to be delivered to Giga Berlin by the start of 2021. [12]


Unloading a compression platten (bottom-left) at Giga Shanghai (July 2020)

By October 2020, three locally-made LK Machinery Impress-Plus DCC6000 machines were undergoing assembly for Model Y production. [26] (Located at 30°52′19″N 121°46′19″E / 30.872°N 121.772°E / 30.872; 121.772 (Tesla Die Casting Machine: 3 Impress-Plus DCC6000).) As of October 2021, five machines were available. [27]


Construction workers preparing three Giga Press foundations at Giga Texas in January 2021

For Tesla Model Y car production at Giga Texas beginning in 2022, Tesla began to deploy a single-piece front in addition to the existing single-piece rear casting. [28]

During the night of 18/19 January 2021, concrete foundations for three Giga Press machines were poured at the Giga Texas factory location near Austin, Texas. [29] [30] ( 30°13′12″N 97°37′01″W / 30.22°N 97.617°W / 30.22; -97.617 (Tesla Die Casting Machine: 3 foundations for Giga Press))

On 21 January 2021 the first Giga Press components started to arrive on site. [31] [32] [33]

As of 2 February 2021, all major components of the first Giga Press at the Austin site had been craned into place. [34]

On 15 April 2021, components for a second Giga Press started arriving at Giga Texas. [35]


LK Technology delivered one Impress-Plus DCC 6000 machine for Glovitech of South Korea, installed in the Vân Trung Industrial Zone, Việt Yên, Bắc Giang Province, Vietnam. [36] The machine is used for producing large Faraday cages (radio-frequency enclosures) for 5G mobile base stations. [36] The machine was delivered in December 2020, and produced its first castings in March 2021. [37]


In June 2023 Toyota announced that it was adopting casting technology for its electric vehicles. [38]

In 2023 Japanese auto parts supplier Ryobi announced plans to cast large electric-vehicle body parts and expects to reduce car body manufacturing costs by 20%. [39]


By November 2023, orders had been placed for two 9000-tonnes-force Giga Press machines for a new Volvo electric vehicle factory at Košice, Slovakia. [40]


In September 2023 Tesla was reported to be considering a single-piece casting for entire underbody of its to-be-announced "small car", an easier task than single-casting their existing, larger models. This required learning how to use larger Giga Press machines, reduce mold design costs, and incorporate hollow subframes. Key innovations include using 3D printing to make cast prototypes with industrial sand. [41]

Making a large metal cast can cost $1.5 million. Typically, multiple iterations and tweaks are required, at great expense. [41]

Binder jet printers build casts out of layers of sand stabilized with a liquid binder at a fraction of the cost of using metal and in a fraction of the time. Hollow elements are created after the cast is made by removing sections of sand added during the casting. Parts cast in sand molds require different aluminium alloys and post-cast processing to meet safety and other requirements. Production casting would continue to use metal casts. [41]

The press would need clamping power of 16,000 tons or more, the largest ever made if you ignore existence of 30,000 and 50,000 presses operated by Russia and USA, although this pressure might prevent the use of sand to make hollows. A different type of press would inject molten alloy more slowly that would allow sand cores and produce higher quality castings, although at a slower pace. [41]


  1. ^ OL CS Compact Series (PDF) (Brochure). Idra. 4 July 2019. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2020. OL 5500 CS … Pumps motors power: kW 2x132
  2. ^ a b c d "OL 5500 CS" (PDF). Technical data sheet. Idra. 4 June 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020. Clamping force: kN 55.000; Ton 5.607 … Tie bar spacing: mm 2300x2300 … Tie bar diameter mm 450 … Max. shot weight (Al alloy): kg 84 … Dry Cycles (as per DIN 24480) n/1' 1,5 … Pumps motors power; kW 4x90 … Machine weight: Ton 410 … Machine dimensions (LxWxH): m 19.2x6.9 [ sic]x5.22
  3. ^ a b "OL 6200 CS" (PDF). Technical data sheet. Idra. 4 June 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020. Clamping force: kN 61.000; Ton 6.218 … Tie bar spacing: mm 2350x2350 … Tie bar diameter mm 470 … Max. shot weight (Al alloy): kg 104,6 … Dry Cycles (as per DIN 24480) n/1' 1,3 … Pumps motors power; kW 4x90 … Machine weight: Ton 430 … Machine dimensions (LxWxH): m 19,5x5,9x5,32
  4. ^ Ferrario, Riccardo (11 October 2018). "PDC School interviews Riccardo Ferrario, Idra General Manager" (offset 01:00) (in Italian). Idra. Retrieved 24 April 2020 – via Youtube. Quali innovazioni propone Idra, nel settore delle pressofusioni … La Idra a costruito per prima di tutti i nostri concorrenti una presse da quattromila duecento (4,200) tonnellate. Ora siamo orgogliosi di potervi dire che abbiamo a catalogo la mille-cinque, cinquecento (5,500) tonnellate e anche la seimilacinquecento (6,500) tonnellate.
  5. ^ Visnic, Bill (2 June 2020). "Tesla casts a new strategy for lightweight structures". Automotive Engineering. Vol. 7, no. 5. SAE International. ISSN  2331-7647. Retrieved 3 June 2020. world's largest aluminum die-casting machine to manufacture entire rear underbody structures. … Tesla is the first customer for IDRA's hulking OL6100 CS (with upgraded locking force to handle the special Tesla casting), destined for installation in the company's Fremont, California and Shanghai, China, plants. IDRA's "Giga Press" measures some 64 feet (19.5 m) long and 17 feet (5.3 m) tall. Along with the higher clamping force is a maximum aluminum-alloy "shot" weight of 104.6 kg (231 lb). … weighing in excess of 410 tons.
  6. ^ "Idra introduces the world's largest die cast machine". Asosiasi Italia Pemasok Foundries. 1 February 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2020. capable to produce castings well beyond 80 kgs in weight over an unbeaten maximum allowed projected area. … manufacture of high-integrity Aluminium and Magnesium Die Cast components for the automotive sector, with focus on structural and safety critical components. … Injection velocity exceeding requirements of 10 m/sec
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  12. ^ a b "Giga Castings, not a wild idea anymore, but a market trend to follow". Foundry Planet. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020. Fondarex … vacuum systems Modular Cell 6C 4000 liter tank [built] in our workshop in St-Légier – Switzerland, now equip the first 6 Giga Presses in the world … with 6 fully independent vacuum channels connected to the die and setting one channel dedicated to the shot sleeve. … evacuation capacity of this vacuum system allows the production of large structural castings … [Idra] … two Giga Presses in production … and we will be delivering another two machines before the end of 2020 into Europe. This will be followed by an additional eight machines in 2021 for the production of underbody castings. … 20th of August [2020] the first batch of mega castings were produced thanks to the new patented Idra 5S injection system.
  13. ^ Keller, Jeff (12 January 2021). "Larger Automotive Castings Drive Innovation in Molten Metal Delivery". Melt Pour. Foundry Magazine. Retrieved 18 January 2021. creation of closed-loop systems in which alloys can be recycled and repurposed for a consistent application, almost infinitely. … reduce the total number of parts needed for vehicle assembly … over 70 parts were eliminated from the overall assembly. … new project at a large, California-based OEM of electric vehicles. … 105 kgs of molten aluminum … delivered in each shot. … solution requires a pump that can deliver this amount of metal to the diecasting machine. A second MMEI pump … is used to measure the biscuit after each dose … In testing … 4 seconds delivery time, … in production 7-8 seconds is the rate. … proprietary heated-launder piping that maintains constant metal temperature throughout the process. … incorporated a rotary degasser into the system to ensure the highest degree of metal quality and to prevent any porosity from getting into the part.
  14. ^ Guillen, Jerome (23 June 2019). "Our Interview With Tesla President Jerome Guillen, Part Deux". Cleantechnica (Interview). Interviewed by Zachary Shahan. Retrieved 20 April 2020. building a giant machine using Tesla's Grohmann sub-division, … emphasized that it was a "giant, giant, giant machine" that duplicates everything, is modular, is simple on the modular level, and … is gigantic.
  15. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (18 January 2021). "With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made" ( Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Musk, Elon; Munro, Sandy (14 April 2020). "Tesla Manufacturing with Sandy Munro and Elon Musk!". Third Row Tesla (offset 09:29). No. Episode 14. Retrieved 20 April 2020. The current version of the Model Y has basically two big high pressure die casting aluminium castings that are joined, then there are still a bunch of other bits that are attached. And then later this year we will transition to the rear underbody being a single-piece casting that also integrates the rear crash rails. … It gets better: the current castings—because they have to interface to so many things—we have to CNC machine them; CNC the interfaces … the single-piece casting has no CNC machining; it doesn't even have datums. … (10:36) It does require the world's biggest casting machine, which we have two off. Basically around a 6,000-tonne casting machine—the size of a small house basically. One coming from Italy, and one coming from China. We should be starting to set up the one from Italy, … next month. … about a 30% reduction in the size of the body shop … (12:59) going back and retro-fitting the Model 3 production at Fremont with a single-piece casting—it might be something we'd do, but it would probably in two years or something like that…
  17. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (13 August 2020). "Will be amazing to see it in operation! Biggest casting machine ever made. Will make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails" ( Tweet). Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Musk, Elon (27 January 2021). "Tesla Q4 2020 Earnings Call" (Interview).
  19. ^ John, Darryn (23 May 2022). "IDRA begins assembling 9,000 ton Giga Press, will hold open house preview next month". Drive Tesla. Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2022. IDRA shared a photo of the 9,000 ton Giga Press … with an employee standing in front of it. If the employee is about 6 feet tall, we estimate the machine is close to 25 feet tall. … currently being assembled at their facility in Travagliato, Italy
  20. ^ Sandy Munro, Lars Moravy, Franz von Holzhausen, Drew Baglino, Pete Bannon, David Lau (11 December 2023). Cybertruck DEEP DIVE with 5 Tesla Executives!. Austin, Texas: Munro Live. Event occurs at 26:40–34:15. Retrieved 23 December 2023 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Alvarez, Simon (10 September 2020). "Tesla Model Y single-piece rear casts spotted in Fremont factory". Teslarati. Retrieved 10 September 2020. electric car maker has begun to test the production of the Model Y's single-piece rear casts. … deploying … a second "Giga Press" machine on the grounds of the Fremont factory. … two of these machines in the Fremont Factory, and one is already producing … single-piece casts for the Model Y's rear subframe. … Gigafactory Shanghai also receiving a "Giga Press" for its Model Y production … Giga Berlin will deploy a whopping eight "Giga Presses" for its operations.
  22. ^ Lambert, Fred (12 March 2021). "Tesla's giant stamping machine caught on fire at Fremont factory". Electrek. Elektrek. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  23. ^ Tesla Manufacturing Brandenburg SE (24 June 2020). 3.4 Betriebsgebäude, Maschinen, Apparate und Behälter [3.4 Company buildings, machines, apparatus and containers] (PDF). Errichtung und Betrieb einer Anlage für den Bau und die Montage von Elektrofahrzeugen mit einer Kapazität von jeweils 100.000 Stück oder mehr je Jahr am Standort 15537 Grünheide (Mark) - Reg.-Nr.: G07819 [Construction and operation of a factory for the construction and assembly of electric vehicles with a capacity of 100,000+ cars per year, at location 15537 in Grünheide (Mark) - registration number: G07819] ( Environmental impact assessment). 2 (in German). p. 139 – via Landesbetrieb Geoinformation und Vermessung. Nr.: A002-00 … Betriebseinheit: Gießerei (Casting) … Machine Nr.: A002-00-0x-04 … 8 x Die Cast Machine ( DCM, Druckgussmaschine) … 6100 [tonnes·force] … Stärke tN
  24. ^ Taylor, Edward; Lienert, Paul (8 September 2020). Potter, Mark (ed.). "Move aside robots, Tesla bets on aluminium casting". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2020. for Tesla's new car factory in Germany, which plans to replace hundreds of them with giant aluminium casting machines to build simpler chassis parts … new plant in Brandenburg, near Berlin, would be supplied with eight " Gigapress" machines. … Injecting molten aluminium into a cast and having robots pull out the moulded metal allows Tesla to combine several manufacturing steps. … reduced the rear underbody to two parts, forming the largest piece of aluminium that Munro has seen in 30 years
  25. ^ Mattke, Sascha, ed. (18 September 2020). "Exklusiv: Tesla will bei deutschem Model Y vorderes Rahmen-Teil an einem Stück gießen" [Exclusive: Tesla wants to cast the front frame part in one piece for German Model Y]. TeslaMag (in German). Germany. Retrieved 20 September 2020. Woche Evan Horetsky, bei Tesla verantwortlich für den Bau der deutschen Gigafactory … geht Tesla in Grünheide damit aber trotzdem: Auch der vordere Teil des Rahmens für das Model Y werde dort im Guss-Verfahren entstehen, sagte Horetsky. … erklärte aber, der Front-Rahmen des deutschen Model Y werde wie bald das Heck in Fremont aus einem Stück gegossen. … eine oder maximal zwei der Giga-Pressen. Auf die Frage, warum dann in Grünheide gleich acht davon vorgesehen sind, sagte Horetsky, Tesla wolle dort eben sehr schnell sehr viele Teile gießen können.
  26. ^ Viecha, Martin (21 October 2020). "Gigafactory Shanghai - Model Y Die Cast" (PDF). Q3 2020 Update (Press release). Tesla, Inc. p. 15. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
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  28. ^ Musk, Elon (7 April 2022). Giga Press: Single cast front & rear underbodies (offset 39:45). Cyber Rodeo at Giga Texas. Tesla. Retrieved 8 April 2022 – via Youtube. It's a revolution in car manufacturing to basically make a car out of three major parts: a cast rear, a structural pack, and a cast front. What you are looking are the biggest casting machines ever made. It's kind of a crazy thing to make a car this way, it has never been done before. When we were trying to figure this out, there were six major casting manufacturers in the world: we called six, five said 'no', one said 'maybe' … that sounds like a 'yes'. … It was a lot of effort and great ideas from the team—we've made the world's biggest casting machine work very efficiently to create, and radically simplify the manufacturing of the car.
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  38. ^ "Toyota Showcases Its Own Giga Casting In A Bid To Lower EV Costs". InsideEVs. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  39. ^ NAOSHIGE, SHIMIZU (9 July 2023). "Japan's auto parts maker Ryobi to 'gigacast' EV body components". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  40. ^ "Two gigapress 9,000 tons at Volvo Cars". News. Idra website (Press release). Idra Group. 8 November 2023. Retrieved 29 November 2023. contract by Volvo Cars to install two 9,000 tons GigaPress machines at a greenfield site in Košice
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Fremont permits

  1. ^ Molinar, Robert; Tesla (11 June 2020). "( Elec) Tesla F20-0048 DCM Foundations". Permitting (building permit application). No. BLD2020-06344. City of Fremont. Die cast machine support skid. … $517.00 paid
  2. ^ Molinar, Robert; Tesla (3 August 2020). "F20-0048-M DCM Tool Anchorage". Permitting (building permit application). No. BLD2021-00972. City of Fremont. F20-0048-M DCM1 Tool Anchorage
  3. ^ Molinar, Robert; Tesla (9 July 2020). "F20-0048-F DCM2 Arch & MEP". Permitting (building permit application). No. BLD2021-00297. City of Fremont. Retrieved 13 July 2020. process cooling water & natural gas piping distribution design from existing ab utility mains to new casting area outside. … new trade waste piping from the tie point inside the building to DCM2 area with pipes, pumps & accessories.
  4. ^ Molinar, Robert; Tesla (16 July 2020). "F20-0048-J Foundations #2". Permitting (building permit application). No. BLD2021-00494. City of Fremont. Foundations for #2

External links