Could the future of mobility lie in 3D-printing?

The folks over at Michelin imagine a future of adaptive, airless wheels with the Visionary Tyre concept.

The Visionary Tyre is a speculative concept by the Michelin tyre manufacturing company based on what our cars could run on in the future. They have devised an entirely new take on the reinforced rubber tyre. This new tyre is an airless, honeycomb-structured alternative that can be restored and altered using 3D-printing technology.

It is a multi-faceted system that would require new car service stations with the chief function of printing a fresh surface onto your wheels, which are perfectly outfitted for your journey. Working in tandem with GPS technology, the 3D-printing station would analyse the road you are about to take (the kind of terrain and weather the vehicle will encounter en route) before synthesising an appropriate tread layer onto the wheels.

This responsive, puncture-proof and restorable version of the modern tyre is thought to minimise wear, be more durable and ultimately more eco-friendly than our current rubber solution. The Visionary Tyre is a longshot look into what the transport norms of tomorrow could be, given the current trends and mounting possibilities of 3D-printing.

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