Porsche shows off technology for 3D printing bucket seats

Porsche is showing off technology for seats used in its vehicles that involves 3D printing. The process prints the central section of the seat, which is the seat and backrest cushions using 3D printing technology. Porsche says that customers will be able to choose between three firmness levels, including hard, medium, and soft for the comfort layer in the future.Porsche's technology is closely tied to motorsports, where the personalization of the driver's seat is customary. The seat is critical for drivers as it's the interface between the human and the vehicle. The design, comfort, and road feel transmitted by the seat is vital to precise and sporty handling.

Porsche says that with its new 3D print and full-bucket seat, it's able to deliver a unique design, lower weight, improved comfort, and passive climate control to vehicle owners. The new seat is based on the lightweight full-bucket seat from Porsche. It features a sandwich construction with a base made from expanded polypropylene that is bonded to a breathable comfort layer made of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials using additive manufacturing.

The outer skin the concept seat is made from a material called "Racetex" that has a perforation pattern for climate control. The seat also has window panels to give a view of exposed color components in the three printed lattice structure for "unmistakable design." Porsche's new 3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat will be available from Porsche Tequipment as a driver seat for the 911 and 718 ranges starting in May 2020.

Initially, the range will be limited to 40 seat prototypes for use on racetracks in Europe in combination with six-point seat belts. Feedback from those customers will then be incorporated into the development process for a street-legal version of the seat. The product will be available in mid-2021.