Wheel-y Good

Michelin Develops a Futuristic, Airless Wheel with 3D Printing


At the MovinOn conference, Michelin unveiled its 3D printed tire of the future which doesn’t puncture and is environmentally friendly.

We’ve seen plenty of uses for 3D printing when it comes to designing cars. However, at the MovinOn conference in Montreal this week, tire company Michelin unveiled its innovative vision concept tire. The 3D printed, airless tire design could very well be the future of driving.

Not only is the tire 3D printed, it is also environmentally friendly. It is both airless and inspired by nature, as well as being made entirely from recycled materials.

The company envisions that, because of its structure, the futuristic tire won’t puncture. And being 3D printed will benefit the environment because no materials are wasted in its production.

Check out the video below for further illustration of the concept. As well as 3D printing tires, it appears that 3D printers of the future can also provide ice cream in the desert…

Michelin Designs the 3D Printed Wheel of the Future

The company outlines the core ideals behind the wheel as follows:

“Our vision of mobility is also based on a vision of the economy… a circular economy that protects the planet’s resources by reducing, reusing, renewing or recycling the materials required to manufacture our products, in order to avoid leaving an environmental footprint. This vision guides our research because we bear in mind that, if mobility is to have a future, it will have to be ever safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.”

The design works by mimicking a coral’s structure. A hard center and soft edges mean it can have a thinner tread than an average tire. The outer layer is also “rechargeable”.

By using an app, drivers are always aware of the state of their tires and when they should “charge” them. Embedded sensors in the tire can track this.

Currently the company has no plans for production. But, they do plan to offer a less exciting “tweel” for smaller vehicles, such as golf carts.

Source: Design Boom