Michelin is working on a biodegradable 3D-printed smart tire

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 10 replies
Jun 16, 2017
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  1. Michelin held it first Movin’On conference this week in Montreal. The purpose of the event was to explain and show what Michelin is doing to create “sustainable mobility” in an effort to “conserve energy and raw materials.” During the event, the company unveiled its concept tire dubbed “Vision.”

    The Vision concept tire is a wheel/tire combination that is made from organic material. Using biodegradable materials such as wood chips, straw, and orange peels, the Michelin R&D team can make synthetic butadiene, a principle component of rubber. The material can then be used to create a tire customized to the individual user’s needs using 3D printing technology.

    The tire has an alveolar interior architecture similar to a sponge. It is firm in the center but flexible on the outside. This design makes it airless. It will never go flat, and since it is all one piece, it will never suffer a blowout.

    The tread on the Vision is rechargeable. Michelin says that 3D printing stations can replace tread using a minimal amount of rubber. Tread patterns can also be easily changed to fit driving conditions without ever having to remove the tire from the vehicle.

    As if a safe, environmentally friendly, recyclable tire were not enough, Michelin plans to add the Vision to the ever growing list of IoT devices. Because of its semisolid design, sensors can be embedded in the tire that can connect with Michelin’s mobile app. The sensors can feed the app information about its condition. The app can then provide maintenance suggestions or tread pattern advice based on driving conditions or destination.

    Michelin did not reveal when or if the Vision tire would go into mass production. The prototype has been tested, but no word on commercial viability.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Now this I like.
    Reehahs and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,329   +1,976

    It sounds promising but I would certainly like to hear more about weight capabilities, length of service on a standard or compact car, etc, etc. Still .... it's a great concept that will make a definite positive, impact on land fills, etc.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  4. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 629   +178

    @Skidmarksdeluxe, you would like anything to do with tires. XD
    Reehahs and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Well said :D
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. h4expo

    h4expo TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +7

    Unfortunately in the US bureaucratic red tape still prevents the use of tweel anywhere but off-road. I almost get angry when I see technology outpace regulation, conspiracy theories ensue. This sort of innovation seems like a no-brainier, except to "big rubber". Personally I would be happy with any kind of tweel, but one I could print in my own backyard would be AWESOME! That is if cars still drive on land in ten years ;D .
    Cal Jeffrey and Reehahs like this.
  7. ross01

    ross01 TS Rookie

    Mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn 3d printers are so dope they are slowly revolutionising all industry.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  8. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 142   +44

    Now that's cool!
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    Since when would the Michelin corporation NOT be considered "big rubber"?
  10. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 142   +44

    I'm sure big rubber knows all too well how important this could be. In the U.S., big rubber is Goodyear. Michelin, a French company with far less clout in Washington, might have all the patents on this technology. You can figure out the rest.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    Quite frankly, I could care less about who patents what. And if rights go to an American company, praise be. The French stiffed us with the bill for defending them in Vietnam to the tune of billions of dollars, and the Michelin rubber plantation was part of the equation.

    Arguably, if US "big rubber" wins, it will, (ostensibly), mean American jobs.

    And like I'm about to say, "screw the French, the last Frenchman that was of any use to us was Lafayette! (Viva la revolution)!

    (But in that scenario, I guess we'll never fully know if Lafayette and his troops were helping us, or spiting the British. Perhaps a little bit of both, I suppose).

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