Porsche 3D-Prints New Track-Ready Seats
Porsche calls it the 3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat,
In a bit of more comfortable news today, Porsche has announced a new revolution in automotive seating. Instead of a conventional seat with one size fits all foam and bolstering, Porsche will develop a seat that’d 3D-printed and fit to suit individual buyers.
Because some of the best sports seats for one driver are completely useless for another, some of the top levels of racing cars use form-fitted seats that are created using foam to mould to the specific driver. It requires a long fitting, and a driver willing to sit in the foam while it sets. For that reason, it’s for race cars only. But with this new 3D-printed seat, drivers of Porsche’s road cars can enjoy a seat that’s better fitted to them, or at least they will be able to if the original more standard-sized version takes off.
“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.”
Porsche calls it the “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat,” since they haven’t yet come up with a suitably German name and abbreviation. The seat starts with a base support later that’s made from expanded polypropylene and is then covered with a 3D-printed lattice structure that can be had in soft, medium, and hard firmnesses. The seats are then covered in an outer skin Porsche calls Racetex that uses special perforation patterns to help vent the driver. Window panels let you see inside the seat to check out the cool new toy you’ve bought.
The seats will be available starting in May for fitment in the 911 and 718. For a start, just 40 will be offered, and they’re designed for track use in the road cars. Street-legal versions of the new seats, which Porsche says will be lighter than standard buckets as well, will arrive in 2021 from Porsche Exclusive, and if there’s enough demand Porsche will start making more colours along with seats adapted and moulded to a customer’s specific contours.