Model 3 panel gap improvements coming

Gavyne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
348
Location
SoCal
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
Always love to see Tesla improving on the Model 3 design. We know panel gaps is one of the bigger issues people have with their new Model 3's, next to paint quality. This shows you Tesla has been working hard at designing and patenting improvements.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-patent-unsightly-panel-gaps-clamping-assembly/

Tesla’s newly published patent, titled “Clamping Assembly for Securing Together a Pair of Adjacently Located Panels,” describes a simple yet clever way to address misaligned body panels. Tesla notes that conventional clamps, which are usually utilized to attach body panels to a vehicle’s frame, are unable to connect panels and their individual tolerances effectively due to their rigid structure.

“Although (conventional clamps) can be used to secure adjacently located parts to one another, the clamp does not account for parts that have large manufacturing tolerances or parts that must not be fixed in at least one direction (that is there must be play between the parts). Attempting to use a traditional clamp to secure two parts that must have some play between them may introduce unsightly gaps and/or overlaps between the parts, reducing the aesthetic appearance upon assembly.”

Tesla’s patent outlines a new type of clamping assembly that is more flexible. Such a system enables Tesla to adjust panels during assembly, allowing the company to address any possible misaligned panels before the vehicle is sent off to delivery. Tesla explains the rationale of its new clamp as follows.

“The present invention was derived in light of the foregoing challenges, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a clamping assembly that provides flexibility in securing parts that are manufactured to larger dimensional tolerances and in which play is necessary between adjacent parts during, or after, assembly. The clamping assembly of the present invention can accommodate misalignment of the part or parts owing to variances in one or both parts during manufacture and/or necessary play between the parts by allowing flexibility in adjusting the positions of the parts relative to one another in one direction while still securing the parts to one another. That is, the clamping assembly secures together a pair of manufactured parts, in which the manufactured parts require play along at least one direction while confining the movement of the parts in a second direction.

“According to certain embodiments of the present invention, the clamping assembly includes a retainer member. The retainer member may have a U-shape groove that allows for the insertion of a tab member and a narrow retaining throat that confines a bulbous portion of the tab member in multiple directions. For example, once inserted into the groove of the retainer member, the tab member with the bulbous portion is confined from moving vertically and horizontally. Once inserted into the groove of the retainer member, movement of the tab member with the bulbous portion is possible by sliding the tab member and the bulbous portion thereof relative to a plane P 2 of the groove, i.e., by sliding the tab member and the bulbous portion into or out of the page. Thus, with use of the clamping assembly disclosed herein, some play or flexibility between two panels is possible, and the panels can be adjusted relative to one another during assembly.”
 

webdriverguy

Top-Contributor
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
689
Location
CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
Always love to see Tesla improving on the Model 3 design. We know panel gaps is one of the bigger issues people have with their new Model 3's, next to paint quality. This shows you Tesla has been working hard at designing and patenting improvements.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-patent-unsightly-panel-gaps-clamping-assembly/

Tesla’s newly published patent, titled “Clamping Assembly for Securing Together a Pair of Adjacently Located Panels,” describes a simple yet clever way to address misaligned body panels. Tesla notes that conventional clamps, which are usually utilized to attach body panels to a vehicle’s frame, are unable to connect panels and their individual tolerances effectively due to their rigid structure.

“Although (conventional clamps) can be used to secure adjacently located parts to one another, the clamp does not account for parts that have large manufacturing tolerances or parts that must not be fixed in at least one direction (that is there must be play between the parts). Attempting to use a traditional clamp to secure two parts that must have some play between them may introduce unsightly gaps and/or overlaps between the parts, reducing the aesthetic appearance upon assembly.”

Tesla’s patent outlines a new type of clamping assembly that is more flexible. Such a system enables Tesla to adjust panels during assembly, allowing the company to address any possible misaligned panels before the vehicle is sent off to delivery. Tesla explains the rationale of its new clamp as follows.

“The present invention was derived in light of the foregoing challenges, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a clamping assembly that provides flexibility in securing parts that are manufactured to larger dimensional tolerances and in which play is necessary between adjacent parts during, or after, assembly. The clamping assembly of the present invention can accommodate misalignment of the part or parts owing to variances in one or both parts during manufacture and/or necessary play between the parts by allowing flexibility in adjusting the positions of the parts relative to one another in one direction while still securing the parts to one another. That is, the clamping assembly secures together a pair of manufactured parts, in which the manufactured parts require play along at least one direction while confining the movement of the parts in a second direction.

“According to certain embodiments of the present invention, the clamping assembly includes a retainer member. The retainer member may have a U-shape groove that allows for the insertion of a tab member and a narrow retaining throat that confines a bulbous portion of the tab member in multiple directions. For example, once inserted into the groove of the retainer member, the tab member with the bulbous portion is confined from moving vertically and horizontally. Once inserted into the groove of the retainer member, movement of the tab member with the bulbous portion is possible by sliding the tab member and the bulbous portion thereof relative to a plane P 2 of the groove, i.e., by sliding the tab member and the bulbous portion into or out of the page. Thus, with use of the clamping assembly disclosed herein, some play or flexibility between two panels is possible, and the panels can be adjusted relative to one another during assembly.”
Nice to see that they are taking this seriously.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Orange County, California
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#5
Nice to see that they are taking this seriously.
My car was born on 12/11, and delivered on 12/16! Panel gaps are excellent.

Only delivery issues are 3 paint scratches on rear bumper valence, misdjusted trunk latch and one rear seat belt socket
recessed too far to be able to readily snap in the belt.