It’s already the case that hardly any Porsche is the same as another. But from now on, the 911 can even be as unique as the papillary lines on a human fingertip.
Using an innovative direct printing method developed by Porsche, graphic elements of the highest visual quality can now be printed onto the painted body parts of a vehicle.
Initially, customers who purchase a new 911 can have the bonnet personalised with a design based on their own fingerprint. In the medium term, other customer-specific designs will become available.
This service is available through the Porsche Centres, which establish contact with the customer consultants at the Exclusive Manufaktur in Zuffenhausen.
These consultants discuss the entire process with the customer, from submission of the fingerprint to completion of the vehicle.
“Individuality is very important for Porsche customers. And no design can be more personal than your own fingerprint,” said Alexander Fabig, VP individualisation and classic.
“Porsche is a pioneer in personalisation and has developed the direct printing method together with partners. We’re especially proud of having developed a completely new product offering based on new technologies.
“A key factor in this was the different disciplines working together in the project team.”
For the project, a so-called “technology cell” was set up in the paint shop of the Zuffenhausen training centre.
It was here that the new software and hardware as well as the associated painting and manufacturing process were developed and tested.
The decision to locate the technology cell in the training centre was intentional: among other things, it will also be used to introduce the trainees to pioneering technologies.
Direct printing makes it possible to produce designs that are not possible with conventional painting. In terms of look and feel, the new technology is clearly superior to film application. The operating principle is similar to that of an inkjet printer: using a print head, the paint is applied to three-dimensional components automatically and without overspray.
“The ability to control the nozzles individually permits targeted application of every paint droplet,” said Christian Will, VP production development at Porsche AG.
“The complexity is due to the necessity of harmonising three technologies: robot technology (control, sensors, programming), application technology (print head, graphic handling) and paint technology (application process, paint).”