Just days before Elon Musk plans on opening the doors of Tesla’s Gigafactory 1, Hyperloop One has announced plans for an all-new manufacturing plant of its own. Called the Hyperloop One MetalWorks, the plant will be a “105,000 square foot tooling and fabrication” located not too far off from the Gigafactory in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
The plant’s primary focus will be to research, build, and prepare a full-system Hyperloop One prototype known as DevLoop, which is scheduled for debut in 2017. The plant’s in-house Transponics® test lab will continue the company’s efforts to develop the propulsion system that will launch the Hyperloop One at its incredible predicted speeds. The plant’s focus on manufacturing the Hyperloop One means that it will boast incredible machinery, including two Flow Waterjet steel cutters, which the company says can cut steel at the huge water pressure amount of 95,000 PSI — which slices up to 36 meters per minute, “with an accuracy of up to one-thousandth of an inch.” Basically, you don’t want to fall into this thing.
The timing of the announcement is interesting, given the fact that the company is currently involved in a vicious legal battle with co-founder Brogan BamBrogan after a bizarre series of events that led BamBrogan and other staffers to resign. BamBrogan claims that he was personally threatened by his co-founders and their associates, which included the act of a noose being laid at his desk by co-founder Shervin Pishevar’s brother, Afshin. The act was caught on tape, but the company has denied that the item was a noose, claiming instead that it was a harmless lasso, which would still be a strange thing to randomly leave on someone’s desk, regardless.
Regardless, plans for the plant are moving forward, and the company’s remaining co-founders have high hopes. “Hyperloop One Metalworks is the first Hyperloop manufacturing plant in the world,” says co-founder and President of Engineering Josh Giegel. “The ability to have a world-class machine shop in-house gives us an advantage to build rapidly and develop the Hyperloop in real-time.”