Bucket seats have long been the mainstay of racing with little variation over the years. Porsche is taking the next step in the bucket seat evolution, however, introducing 3D printing into the equation. Their new 3D printed Bodyform Bucket seats will be going into production soon, and customers will be able to use the technology to choose from three firmness levels in the comfort layer.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling,” explains Michael Steiner, a member of Porsche’s executive board for R&D. “That’s why personalised seat shells customised for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now. 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.”
The new seat provides a more ergonomic fit while also lowering the weight and improving comfort. The seat also features passive climate control. The seat is made with a sandwich construction—a base layer of expanded polypropylene provides support and is bonded to a breathable comfort layer that uses a mix of polyurethane-based materials that are printed out by the 3D printer. The final layer will be made of Porsche’s Racetex material, which has a perforation pattern that is specifically designed for climate control. The seat will be made available for 911s and 718s starting in May 2020. Initially, they will only be available in Europe. They will also initially be limited to 40 prototypes that will be coupled with six-point seat belts for use in racing. Come mid-2021, the seats will be made street-legal and will be offered through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. Once that happens, customers will be able to choose from a range of colours and have the seats contoured to perfectly match their bodies.