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Puncture-proof tyre can be replenished with a 3D printer

19 June 2017

Michelin’s Visionary Concept depicts a tyre that is also a wheel, getting its strength from its biomimetic structure, as if it had been created by nature.

Michelin Visionary Concept (Credit: Michelin)

Michelin has imagined a new mobility solution; the Michelin Visionary Concept was unveiled on the Michelin stand at Movin’On in Montreal and has sparked much curiosity. 

The concept depicts a wheel with no air, designed to last as long as the vehicle. Its ultra-durability comes from its honeycomb structure, which is inspired by natural models (Michelin call it generative design: a form that mimics the natural growth process at work in the plant, mineral or sometimes even animal world, such as in corals, for example). It is made of recycled materials and it is fully recyclable.

Its tread has a very distinctive feature: it can be "replenished" by a 3D printer. The material used, which draws on cold cure technology, delivers the same performances as a conventional tread. But with one notable difference: it is completely biodegradable. And what is the advantage of this? Maybe your tyre’s tread is worn or maybe your road conditions have changed (you're driving off-road or in rain, snow, heat, etc.), but you can print the tread you need in a matter of minutes! What's more, 3D printing is an additive technology, which means that it adds just the quantity of material that is necessary, where it is necessary, with no waste or loss.

Importantly, the Michelin Visionary Concept is connected: it communicates with your vehicle and your vehicle communicates with it. Without getting out of your car or even leaving your home, you can be informed of the wear on your tread and programme a tread reprint, choosing the type of tread pattern you need at that particular time for your intended tyre use, or simply following the suggestion made by the embedded app, which detects your requirements.

Video courtesy of Michelin

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