Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On June 4th 2019, tyre manufacturer Michelin of Clermont-Ferrand, France, and American multinational corporation General Motors Company of Detroit, Michigan unveiled a prototype airless passenger vehicle tyre, which was christened the UPTIS. (UPTIS is short for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System.) This was done at the 2019 “Movin’On Connect” Summit, which describes itself as “The World Summit on Sustainable Mobility.” The prototype tyre will be tested on a group of Chevrolet Bolt EVs on the roads of Michigan later in 2019.

This represents a significant advancement towards Michelin’s VISION concept, which was first presented at the same summit in 2017. The VISION concept refers to Michelin’s project to make a passenger vehicle tyre that is: 3D printable, airless, puncture proof and completely made from renewable and/or bio-based materials. (The term bio-based materials refers to usually biodegradable materials that are made from living organisms.)

Airless tires would naturally make drivers will feel safer on the road, as they would eliminate the need to worry about tyre pressures or getting a puncture. In addition, passenger vehicle fleet operators would have considerably less downtime from vehicle maintenance, and the environment would also benefit from the lesser usage of raw materials that would be used in the manufacturing of replacement and/or spare tyres. Michelin estimates that every year 200 million tyres are disposed of worldwide because of punctures, damage from road hazards, and wear from being maintained at improper pressures.

Michelin hopes its VISION concept tyre will be used on passenger vehicles for the first time by the end of 2024.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Use Tyres in Yangon” has been dedicated to the public domain by its author (known only as mydaydream89) under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.