When it comes to technologies that scream “the future is here,” few come close to matching 3D printing. The still-nascent technology is already changing manufacturing in myriad fields — and every new use for it inspires a few more ideas as to how this revolutionary tech can change the world a little more. The latest example? Porsche is about to start 3D-printing seats for its 911 and 718 Boxster / Cayman sports car.
Granted, it’s not like the carmaker is spitting entire seats — metal, leather and all — out of a giant Epson. The new 3D printing program will create the central “comfort” layer of the center of the sports car’s bucket seats — which makes it easier for the company to offer buyers the chance to fine-tune the firmness to their liking. Buyers, Porsche said, will be able to choose between soft, medium and hard levels of firmness for their cradling thrones.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling,” Michael Steiner, Porsche board member in charge of R&D, said in a statement. “That’s why personalized seat shells customized for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now.”
Now, don’t rush onto the Porsche configurator to add these 3D-printed seats to your new 911 Turbo S just yet. The company is soft-launching these new seats, starting with 40 prototypes to be used on race tracks in Europe. Once the feedback has been colklected from that test, Porsche plans to roll out what they call the “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” as a Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur option starting in early 2021.
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