This Summer I had an amazing internship at Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, California. I worked in the machining and prototyping division, which had me visiting the Tesla manufacturing plant in Fremont regularly. My responsibilities were varied, but generally centered around turning 3D models into aluminum and steel prototypes. I logged a lot of hours on our EXL ProtoTrack lathe, and here are a few of the parts I made:
The first is a programmed radius cut:
After mastering the basics, I wrote a full program to turn a Star Wars themed light saber.
Finally, here’s a part I turned for the drivetrain team.
Aside from machining, I worked on several parts of the Model X:
Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to post or talk about much of what I did with the Model X and several other projects I worked on at Tesla. I can, however, say that I experienced a lot of hands on machining and manufacturing, and I worked closely with a full scale assembly line. I gained an appreciation of designing for manufacture, and how essential tolerances are. Overall, I learned what it takes to bring an idea to life.