MINIs are like snowflakes. And, no, I don’t mean that in the unbelievably overused use of the term in the current and aggravating political climate. When I say that MINIs are like snowflakes, I mean that no two MINIs are alike. And that’s true. MINI has always offered more customization than any other mainstream brand and it’s not even close.
When you order your MINI, you can have it with any combination of body, roof, mirror and wheel colors and that’s just the exterior. The interior is equally as customizable and there are literally millions of different combinations of options for the entire car. But, beginning in 2018, that level of customization and personalization is going to increase dramatically, thanks to the implementation of 3D-printing.
“Individualization has always been a big topic with Mini,” said Thomas Schmitz, product manager of Mini Yours Customized. “Now we want to take individualization to the next level.”
Not only will customers be able to choose certain colors or options at will but will actually be able to design certain parts of their car themselves. Side indicators, dashboard trims, door sill inlays and even LED puddle lights will all be completely customizable thanks to custom 3D-printed parts.
Want your family name in the door sill plate? Done. Want the skyline of your home city engraved in the dash trim? No problem. And it can all be done exactly as the customer likes, so any writing can be done in any font, including the customer’s own handwriting.
MINI and BMW will be working with Hewlett Packard to refine their 3D-printing process and all customized parts will be done by BMW in Munich, then sent to MINI. So there will be a four-week wait time for the parts to be made. Though, if you’re ordering a customized MINI, that’s not long to wait to have your car designed exactly for you.
So MINIs are currently like snowflakes. After 2018, they will be bespoke snowflakes.