Michelin reinvents the 'tweel' with 3D-printed Vision concept

Michelin has developed a new way to change a tire.

Its Vision concept is an airless ‘tweel’ made from 3D-printed bio-sourced materials that allow for new and different treads to be applied as they wear down or the seasons change.

Designed to mimic the structure of coral, it is stiff at the center and gets gradually softer as it approaches the outside edge.

With its “rechargeable” tread design, the thickness of the outside layer can be thinner than a typical tire’s, which makes it more efficient to produce and operate.

The biodegradable Vision was engineered with embedded sensors that monitor its condition and integrate with a mobile app that owners would use to schedule an appointment to have it recharged, or have the tread design updated as necessary, such as when winter comes around.

There are no plans for production yet, but Michelin currently sells a more conventional Non-pneumatic tweel for skid steer loaders, riding mowers and golf carts.