Michelin Envisions A Future Where Cars Run on 3D-Printed Breath Mints

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We had a double-post on SolidSmack about the new 3D Printed Michelin tire with a write-up from new SolidSmack author Carlos Zotomayor. It’s too good to let it go to waste, so posting on Smacktalk for everyone. Enjoy!!

French Tire Manufacturer Michelin Envisions A Future Where Cars Run on 3D-Printed Breath Mints

I mean, just look at it! Don’t tell me you don’t see an edible piece of candy instead of an adaptive car tire. Yet that’s what this new vision is: a vast improvement on a piece of technology that has been present since the time of the Flintstones.

After making rubber tires for so long that its employees must smell like the underside of a slipper factory, Michelin has decided to put a spin (heh, tire pun) on its traditional car shoes by utilizing everyone’s favorite modern miracle: 3D printing. While the concept is nowhere near completion and serves as more of a blueprint for the company’s direction, Michelin hopes to incorporate biodegradable tires that last as long as your hand-me-down Toyota Corolla.

So what exactly is this vision they envision?

By incorporating a honeycomb design that mimics natural models like sea corrals, these tires have no use for air – meaning that you’ll never have to worry about running over traffic spikes when evading the police. To add to the overall feel that you’re using nature to escape local law enforcement, the printed tires are also made of recycled materials! Hooray Mother Nature!

But what really sets these technologically-advanced gumdrops apart from their age-old brothers is their ability to regenerate and adapt themselves like a hairless Wolverine.

You see, whenever the tires get damaged or come into contact with new terrain, the 3D app of your supposed future car will replenish that specific bit of tire you just lost or refit the treads for the environment you are crossing. The beauty of this feature is that instead of replacing the entire tire, 3D printing only adjusts the parts that have to be dealt with, saving you both time and the hassle of learning how to change a tire.

Not only that, but in a future where mushroom trees and 3D-printing pit stops are abundant, your tires will be able to communicate with your vehicle via an app that lets you know if they have been damaged or need changing for the rough terrain ahead. It is still unknown if the app will be outfitted with a voice that complains every time you tread over dog poop, but for now the future seems devoid of that one annoyance.

You can see more of Michelin’s rubber-free future here.


That is pretty awesome. No more flats. You can sort of do that with bike tires now without the 3D printing. They just make them out of a special solid foam rubber. I do like the idea of repairing by 3D printing into the damaged area of a tire.