michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials

michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials

michelin — the company behind the chubby white tire man we all know and love — is stretching out one plump arm towards the future with its new visionary tire concept, designed to make mobility safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. michelin envisions a puncture-free future, combining tire and wheel into one 3D-printed design. the revolutionary form is made entirely of recycled materials, and it too can be recycled at the end of its (hopefully long) life, after having covered thousands upon thousands of kilometers. the futuristic tire has just been unveiled at michelin’s MovinOn conference in montreal.


update: according to the recent interview with michelin’s director of scientific and innovation communication cyrille roget, the first industry machine will be ready to start production in 2020. 


‘we talk about moving on. we hope in 2020 we will be able to show the first tire made of wood,’ says roget.

michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials
images courtesy of michelin



the ruggedness of the tire comes from its biometric structure, taking influence from the honeycomb, as if it may well itself have been woven by nature. a perfect example of generative design, the tire gets its strength from its coral-like texture. with the visionary tire, punctures are not the only thing you don’t have to worry about, since the tire’s tread can be replenished by a 3D printer. the tire’s biodegradable body material performs to the same standard as conventional tread, yet saves expensive costs and waste materials in replacing the whole tire when tread gets low. since 3D printing is an addictive technology, meaning no material is wasted in the process, the visionary tire concept even helps to conserve resources.

michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials



as if all that wasn’t futuristic enough already, michelin’s concept tire is even connected with your vehicle, automatically informing you of the wear on your tread, and programming you in for a tread re-print. when you’re due for a tread touch-up, you can even choose the type of tread you need at that particular time for your intended tire use, following the suggestion that its embedded app deems fit. the tread that can be modified and replenished at will, without wasting any resources, time or money, in turn protecting the environment for the generations to come.

michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials



‘our vision of mobility is also based on a vision of the economy,’ details michelin, ‘a circular economy that protects the planet’s resources by reducing, reusing, renewing or recycling the materials required to manufacture our products, in order to avoid leaving an environmental footprint. this vision guides our research because we bear in mind that, if mobility is to have a future, it will have to be ever safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

michelin's new airless tire is 3D-printed from recycled materials


  • Great idea – and I love the ability to just ‘print on’ some more tread …although one might expect some material fatigue to limit the whole wheel life. So it’s interesting… but if it’s a complete wheel …then where are the brakes, steering and suspension attached? Shouldn’t there be a bit more detail before this can be considered any kind of real innovation?

  • Biometric’s at its best . WOOOWW !!!
    That’s the coolest idea for the future of mobility I’ve ever seen !! Hats off to you
    Make it happen !!

    Erick Bohling
  • Daaammmnnn!!!!


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