French tyre manufacturer Michelin has devised a 3D printed tyre made out of renewable, biodegradable materials, which looks like it’s alive! How awesome is that?
The new concept tyre, called Vision, has a distinctive blue halo that gives it the appearance of a prop from Tron. The coral-esque concept tyres are a big step towards a future where organic, recyclable materials will replace rubber, treads can be customised real time depending on road conditions, and flats will be a problem of times long past.
Michelin’s R&D teams at the Ladoux Research Centre took inspiration from patterns in nature, especially structures of the plant kingdom, and used developments from two of their research programs, the metal printing AddUp2 initiative and the Biobutterfly2 project. The company also surveyed 77 drivers from all over the world.
These awesome looking concept tires are fully made from organic materials that have been recycled. The structure is airless and porous, just like coral, to make it more resistant to wear.
Michelin’s proposal is to implement service stations able to print out your tyres on the spot when they wear or tear. No need to get your hands dirty, no need to carry a spare tire in the trunk.
The treads can also be customised depending on the changing road and meteorological conditions. It would no longer matter if it rains or snows, you can reprint the threads with a push of a button.
“This vision of future mobility is underpinned by a vision of the economy that guides our research and innovation: a circular economy, capable of preserving the planet’s resources for future generations by reducing, reusing, renewing and recycling (4R) the materials required to manufacture the products we need today for our mobility and hence our development. This is the definition of sustainable mobility – the only possible definition in the long run,” claims the company in their website.
The Vision tires were unveiled at the Movin’On international summit on sustainable mobility held in Montreal last June.