The alveolar structure is distinguished by the presence of a rigid base and a soft, supple outer shell, between which the mass of hollow “sacs” is concentrated. This is how light animals are arranged and a new tire from Michelin is designed according to the same principle. More precisely, this wheel is entirely – there are no separate parts in it, since it is fully printed on a 3D printer as a whole.
The presented concept Vision is created not for records on a line, and with the prosaic purpose of total minimization of the expenses connected with “переобуванием” billion cars in the world. The wheel is printed from biodegradable and completely recyclable material, it generally does not have the concept of “service life”. When the wear of any part becomes critical, the whole product is sent for melting and re-printing 3D.
No recycling – a single wheel regularly undergoes an upgrade, during which it is not restored, but in the literal sense, the tread pattern is re-created and the necessary elements are formed. Summer “rubber” turns into winter and vice versa in just one session, conditionally-infinite number of times. In order not to get confused, Michelin offers to equip the wheels with special sensors, which will tell the owner when it’s time to start “reincarnation” of the product.
Alas, Vision is not even a prototype, but only a concept and the timing of adaptation of such technology for real use in the automotive industry in Michelin does not apply. Similarly, not a word about the price or performance of the novelty. According to the project manager, Mostafa El-Ulhani, “this is a demonstration of our achievements and a promise of an interesting future.”