Porsche’s innovative alternative to sporty seating is “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat”. The automotive specialist partially 3D printed the seat and backrest cushions and the good news for customers is that, leveraging AM as a production technology will enable Porsche to deliver a customized service.
Indeed, customers will have the choice between three firmness levels (hard, medium, soft) for the comfort layer in the future.
Close ties to motor sports
Many things remind the motor sports industry in this customized production: the ergonomic fit, the seat and its design which is said to deliver lower weight and passive climate control.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling. That’s why personalised seat shells customised for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. “With the ‘3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat’, we’re once again giving series-production customers the opportunity to experience technology carried over from motor sports.”
However, the “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” features a sandwich construction: a base support made from expanded polypropylene (EPP) is bonded to a breathable comfort layer consisting of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials made using additive manufacturing. The company explains that the outer skin of the concept seat is made from “Racetex” and features a specific perforation pattern for climate control.
The “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” will be available from Porsche Tequipment as a driver’s seat for the 911 and 718 ranges from as early as May 2020. The range will initially be limited to 40 seat prototypes for use on race tracks in Europe in combination with a six-point seat belt. Feedback from customers will be incorporated into the development process. As a next step, street-legal “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seats” in three different firmness levels and colours will be available ex-works from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur from mid-2021. In the long term, the technology will also enable fully personalised solutions if sufficient customers express an interest in this. In addition to an extended range of colours, seats adapted to the individual customer’s specific body contour will then also be developed and offered.
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