What you’re looking at is a prototype for the world’s first 3D-printed AIRLESS bicycle tire!!
German 3D printer manufacture BigRep created it:
BigRep Product Designer Marco Mattia Cristofori shares with us how he used the flexible properties of the company’s new Pro FLEX filament to bring the tire prototype to life…
“We were able to replace ‘air’ as a necessity in the tire by customizing the pattern to be one of a three-layered honeycomb design. Based on the same principle, the design can be altered to fit the requirements of specific kinds of biking, such as mountain biking and road racing, or for different weather and speed conditions. Perfecting the design is the trickiest part,” says Cristofori. Even small changes to the infill percentage or pattern can lead to different results in terms of weight and performance.
Printed on the BigRep ONE large-scale 3D printer, the tire prototype utilizes the full potential of BigRep’s latest filament: Pro FLEX. What separates the Pro FLEX from other 3D printing filaments is its unique flexible properties, coupled with high temperature resistance and durability. The rigidity and the internal pattern, known as the infill, can be controlled and customized to suit different weather conditions or terrain. The current tire prototype uses a three-layered honeycomb pattern adapted for urban use.
If you want airless tires for yourself, I hope you have an industrial 3D printer and some patience because these aren’t for sale. They’re just a concept design, for now.