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MINI launches MINI Yours Customized for online customization and 3D printing of automotive parts

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BMW-owned British premium automobile manufacturer MINI launched the MINI Yours Customized service to offer its customers the opportunity of providing selected upgrade products with a design they have selected themselves. They can then transform their own vehicle into a personally styled customized special. The innovative package will become available in the course of 2018 for lots of MINI models in Europe and other large markets. The MINI Yours Customized product range will include the indicator inlays known as side scuttles, trims for the passenger side in the interior, LED door sills and LED door projectors.

Customers can select, design and order the upgrade parts available in the product range of MINI Yours Customized at the new Online Shop specially developed for the new package. The individualized products will then be manufactured using innovative production procedures such as 3D printing and laser lettering. The advanced production process permits the precise implementation of the customer’s wishes. The individually designed products will be delivered within the space of just a few weeks. The parts have been designed so that they can be integrated into the vehicle by the customer or by the participating MINI service partner. The customer can do this more than once. This ensures that if the vehicle is sold later the individualized components can be exchanged.

The product range offered by MINI Yours Customized will once again make the British premium brand a pioneer and trendsetter in the area of customer orientation, expansion of digital services and the establishment of innovative production processes. Individualization has always been highly valued in the worldwide MINI community. The exceptionally large diversity of special equipment and original MINI accessories already provides customers today with comprehensive opportunities to define unmistakable accents when designing their MINI. Designing a vehicle is now enhanced to include a creative interaction between the manufacturer and the customer.

In this process, MINI offers the customer an opportunity to select between different options and integrates them actively in the design process while retaining the typical MINI language of design. MINI fans are able to make a selection of different colors, patterns, surface finishes and icons when designing MINI Yours Customized products. They can also integrate their own texts and their signature into the design. This unparalleled freedom of design allows customers to transform their MINI into a unique special defined by their personal style and their own creativity. Customers can also modify their designs at any time to match a change in their aspirations and adopt fresh ideas.

MINI is committed to digitalization and innovative production procedures for realizing individual customer wishes. Alongside the global webshop, a completely new distribution chain has been installed for direct sales to the customer. Equally, the 3D printing procedure has been specially tailored to the production of individual products in large numbers for the MINI Yours Customized package. The configuration is carried out in an Online Shop dedicated to the new product range. The integrated user-friendly and flexible Customiser is the innovative centerpiece of the webshop. It has a completely new design, structure and programming. The designs selected and saved by the customer will be transferred in digital form to the appropriate production facility after the order process has been completed and the data will be used there directly in the corresponding production system for the manufacture of the unique products. For example, the digitally controlled 3D printer will receive instructions on the basis of the data created in the course of configuration, in order to produce scuttles and trims in precisely the form designed by the customer. All MINI Yours Customized products will be produced at production facilities in Germany.

The 3D printers used in this process are all highly professional production facilities that were precisely configured for this purpose by the BMW Group through strategic partnerships with HP, Carbon and EOS. This is the first time that they have been in a position to supply the particularly high-grade plastic qualities selected for the MINI Yours Customized program. The computer-based laser lettering for the production of the door sill with customer-specific styling has also been designed specifically to match the stringent product-quality guidelines of MINI. As a result, all MINI Yours Customized products are in conformity with the same high standards of form, functionality and safety as the components supplied from the factory in the original MINI range of accessories.

Templates and design worlds as a platform for boundless creativity

Customer orientation and ease of use were the foremost considerations when the Online Shop was designed for MINI Yours Customized products. When the personal designs are produced, the user is guided through the individual operating stages as they create their personal design and they are able to give free rein to their creativity within this framework. For example, the side scuttles and the trims can be designed with colors, surface finishes and patterns in any sequence. Finishes and patterns are variable in scale and can be scaled to meet your requirements. The user is also provided with a list of design worlds from which thematically tailored colors and colors, and specific icons can be selected.

The size can be varied and the features can be freely configured within the design field. The design worlds comprise icons from contexts such as travel, active leisure activities, and the rich and varied history of the MINI. In addition, users are provided with a text field that they can fill in, scale and position. There is space for creative expression here in order to immortalize information like the name of the driver, passenger or vehicle, as well as a personal message in the design of the MINI Yours Customized product.

Right up to the point when the configurations have been completed, users can move effortlessly between the individual selection steps in order to perfectly match up colors, patterns, icons and lettering. A range of different colors, patterns and icons from the individual design worlds is also available for designing the illuminated door sills and the LED door projectors. These design features can be supplemented by text that can be freely formulated in a dedicated field. This provides an unlimited number of different versions that can be created from combinations of colors, patterns, icons and lettering to create a personal signature expressing the attitude, individual interests and lifestyle of the MINI driver. If customers want to further enhance their fun with creative design, they can share their own designs with other users by screenshot and link for design in social media. This is how additional inspiration is created within the MINI community. If issues come up during the configuration process, users can phone or e-mail the experts at the call center established specifically for the MINI Yours Customized program at any time.

The rims for the side indicator inlays, known as side scuttles, are manufactured through a 3D procedure and then painted in the color shade desired by the customer – Aspen White matt, Chili Red matt, Jet Black matt, Melting Silver matt or White Silver matt. A choice of surface finishes and patterns is also available for individual configuration. Each of these options is scalable. Icons from four design worlds and a field for freely formulated texts complete the options for individual design. It is also possible to provide the side scuttle with different designs for the left and right side of the vehicle – for example the name of the driver and passenger. The side scuttles from the MINI Yours Customized program are each supplied as a twosome in combination with white direction indicators. These are available for the MINI 3-door and the MINI 5-door cars and the MINI convertible in the current model range. The clip mechanism used to mount standard components can be used for assembly on the side panels of the individual vehicle. This allows the side scuttles to be swapped in a few simple steps so they can be changed to suit the wishes of users.

The trim of the MINI Yours Customized program is also produced in a professional 3D printing procedure. It is the perfect identification feature for creativity in the interior of the MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door or MINI convertible automobiles in the current model generation. The trim can be precisely integrated into the dashboard on the passenger side where it replaces the factory-mounted trim. If necessary, the trim can be exchanged at any time with another individually designed version. A prerequisite for this is the upgrading of the vehicle with an appropriate base. A choice of colors between Aspen White matt, Chili Red matt, Starlight Blue matt, Moonwalk Grey matt and Jet Black matt is available for the design of the trim. A large selection of surface finishes, graphic patterns and icons from different theme worlds create additional opportunities for individual styling. There is also space for completion of a text field by the customer which akin to the icons can be freely configured in any size on the surface of the trim.

Welcome to the personally designed MINI

The illuminated door trims from the MINI Yours Customized program serve as an eye-catcher for the MINI driver and passengers when the doors are opened. The design options give customers a choice between the versions brushed and black aluminum and between several scalable basic patterns. Icons from different design worlds can also be added to the mix. The MINI driver can also literally leave their own creative signature behind on this MINI Yours Customized product.

The text field can be completed as the user wishes with name or messages using uppercase letters and in the form of the user’s own signature. The design created by the customer is inscribed using high-quality laser technology. Individually configurable door sills are supplied to match the individual model with two – for the MINI 3-door automobiles and the MINI convertible – or four – for the MINI 5-door automobile and the new MINI Clubman. They can be precisely fixed to the individual entry area with the adhesive pads supplied.

The MINI LED door trims customized for the driver and passenger doors have LED illumination without any wiring. Their illuminated field is activated by a magnetic switch when the door is opened. This is part of the scope of supply as are button batteries for the power supply including two reserve batteries and the necessary assembly and dismantling tools. The door trims for the rear are not illuminated. During the configuration process, the customer has the option of designing each of the two or four-door trims independently.

The door projectors from MINI Yours Customized provide another impressive and inimitable feature when entering and alighting from the car. They create illumination that can be individually designed and is projected onto the floor in the individual entry areas by an LED light source when the driver and passenger doors are opened. The diameter of the projection is between 40 and 50 centimeters. Several patterns are available for the design of the projection in the colors Chili Red, Starlight Blue and Black combined with White.

The user can create additional individualization by adding icons from several design worlds, as well as text and signature in separate application steps. There is also an option of configuring a different design for the driver and passenger side. The LED door projectors from the MINI Yours Customized Programme can be installed in vehicles of the current MINI generation and in predecessor models. The prerequisite is that they already have door projectors or door entry lights. If the vehicles are fitted with door projectors, the existing slides can simply be swapped with the MINI Yours Customized products designed by the customer. The scope of supply for all other vehicles includes slides and projectors to replace the door entry lights installed at the factory. In both cases, the assembly can be carried out in a few simple steps.

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