The Self-Assembly Lab at MIT worked with BMW on the development of functional 3D-printed inflatable structures that can revolutionize the interiors of cars. The auto manufacturer was interested in developing innovative and responsive fabrics that would prove to be a good fit for its futuristic automobile concepts. The collaboration produced prototypes of inflatable structures that are made out of silicone and are stretchy. The product is able to respond to changes in air pressure and, if utilized as a seat, can "morph into different configurations with the flick of a switch." The use of the 3D-printed inflatable structure is still up for debate. The innovative material can also be integrated into the car's dashboard, for example.
The high response rates and the adaptability of MIT x BMW's prototype will allow for a feature that will seamlessly integrate within future autonomous cars.