Porsche gets 3D-printing to sports car seats, promises unrivaled customisation
Ever sat in a car and felt the seat to be a little too hard? Or maybe sinking a little too much in the ultra soft cushions? The best of luxury cars around the world may not always match up to the high expectations of discerning customers and this is why Porsche has been testing 3D-printing technology to offer customised seats to customers buying its much-acclaimed sports cars.
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Porsche says that its 3D-printing technology can develop seats and back rest as per customer needs. Prospective buyers can choose between three firmness levels - hard, medium and soft.
The 3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat is based on the lightweight full-bucket seat from Porsche and features a sandwich construction. A base support made from expanded polypropylene (EPP) is bonded to a breathable comfort layer comprised of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials made using additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D-printing. The outer skin of the concept seat is made from “Racetex" and features a specific perforation pattern for climate control. Window panels provide a view of exposed coloured components in the 3D-printed lattice structure.
While still not implemented on a commercial scale, the company states that it has been inspired by the world of motorsports where race drivers get seats contoured to their body structure. "The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling," 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 motorsports."
Porsche has also promised that these seats would offer a unique design, lower weight, improved comfort and passive climate control.