In 2017, the 128-year-old tire industry giant, Michelin released a 3D printed tire. This 3D printed tire is made of biological materials, it needs not to be inflated, and it’s designed to last through the entire lifetime of a vehicle. It’s also equipped with high-tech sensors and it’s 100% biodegradable to boot. Good news for road trippers–Fear not the flat tire!
It is 3D printed and molded tire
It is reported that Michelin names the concept tire “Vision”. This spider-web-like, psychedelic sponged tire is 3D printed and molded with bio-based and biodegradable materials. The material sources include natural rubber, bamboo, paper, wood, electronic products, and Plastic waste, hay, cloth, cardboard, molasses, orange peel scraps, and of course iron cans and scrap metal.
Smart 3D printed tire
It sounds like Michelin is using compost to build tires that are futuristic, but in fact, the tires have even more important significance. These tires are also embedded with radio frequency (RFID) sensors, through data collection, can predict the performance and functional performance of the car. Moreover, tires can also adapt to a variety of environments. For example, if you want to drive to mountain skiing, just drive to a Michelin 3D printing shop, then car tires can be replaced with snow tires immediately.
Terry Gettys, senior vice president of Michelin’s R&D department, said: “This concept tire is an ideal solution for the future. We are convinced that a unique structure will be used in the future to replace the wheel + tire. In this combination, the new structure will carry the load and reduce noise to provide a comfortable car experience. We are highly motivated for the concept tires to be the future solution.” If it is put into mass production in the future, it will undoubtedly be the perfect tire solution for autonomous vehicles.
Michelin’s concept tire would also make full use of 3D printing technology. This would bring motorists two massive advantages. Firstly, it’s a much more efficient system, because rather than needing a whole new tire, only the lost material is replenished. Secondly, it means the tire can be easily adapted to current driving conditions more easily. Although Michelin has not discussed when these tires will be available for purchase, the company believes that the concept may soon become a reality.