Fear not the flat tire, road trippers! The future of tire technology is rolling into reality, thanks to Michelin’s Vision tire. The 3D-printed tire does not need 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.
Michelin used 3D printing technology to create an airless tire modeled on alveolar structures – like as the air sacs found in human lungs. This means that the tire’s interior is structurally solid, while the outer layers are more flexible, which prevents blowouts and flat tires. The tire is printed from organic, recyclable, biodegradable materials and it can be recycled when it has reached the end of its product life.
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3D printing allows the tire’s treads to be customized to meet the needs of a specific vehicle, and Michelin minimized the amount of rubber used in the tire to enhance its sustainability. Embedded sensors keep track of each tire’s wear and proactively order reprints for smooth driving.
Michelin imagines an eventual product that incorporates butadiene – a major component of modern synthetic rubber that is derived from wood chips or straw. Although Michelin has not discussed when these tires will be available for purchase, the company believes that the concept may soon become a reality.
Via Yanko Design
Images via Michelin