Porsche creates 3D-printed body form full-bucket seats

By CARSIFU | 17 March 2020

STUTTGART: Porsche has found a way to 3D-print bucket seat upholstery.

The central section of the “3D-printed body form full-bucket seat” - the backrest cushions has been partly produced by a 3D-printer and zee German sportscar builder can now allow its customers three preferred firmness levels of hard, medium or soft.

The personalised sports seat follows the principles of driver-specific seat fitting customary in professional motorsports.

Additionally, the ergonomic fit that's similar to that found in motorsports also delivers a unique design, lower weight, improved comfort and passive climate control.

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The seat is based on the lightweight full-bucket seat from Porsche and features a sandwich construction with its base support made from expanded polypropylene (EPP) that's been bonded to a breathable comfort layer consisting of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials made using additive manufacturing – in short, a 3D-printer.

The outer skin of the concept seat is made from “Racetex” and features a specific perforation pattern for climate control with window panels providing a view of exposed coloured components in the 3D-printed lattice structure to give the full-bucket seat an unmistakable design.

The "seat" in question is said to 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 with feedback from customers incorporated into the development process.

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As a next step, street-legal “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.

“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle and is thus important for precise, sporty handling," said Porsche member of the executive board for research and development Michael Steiner.

He added that with the company's "3D-printed body form full-bucket seat", the company is able to provide its series-production customers with the opportunity to experience technology carried over from motorsports.

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