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  1. #1

    3D Printed Car Tyres?

    So I was trundling through the internet this morning an I suddenly had an epiphany. Why isn't there any 3D printed car tyres? I am aware of the "Airless" car tyres that you can get, but never any solid 3D printed tyres.
    Forget practicality and ride quality for one moment and just wonder. These tyres would be totally solid 3D printed plastic, so fairly sturdy. There would therefore be no parts to put together, minimising the chances of them breaking apart. 3D Plastic is relatively hard and structurally integral, so 4 wheels would be even more so, surely able to hold a car up and it's driver. Even in a worse case scenario, where as opposed to being the main tyres, they could be backups if one or others blow. This leads onto my next point, there is no need to refill the tyres with air because they would be solid plastic.
    I personally can't find any problems aside form ride quality and the possibility that if you run round on them for a while, they could bend out of shape.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    There are some 3D printed tires but they're mainly for RC car

  3. #3
    I believe the military did some testing on 3D printing wheels for some of their vehicles. I could not find the specific article where it mentioned this but I believe they looked like the picture below.
    625x465_3688219_11626467_1439407418.jpg

    There is currently a lot of work being done on 3D printing the rims of a tire but applying 3D printing technology to the actual tire is a difficult process. I do not think the tire would need to be completely plastic because of the current advancement in 3D printing materials but a mixture of plastic and something like Ninjaflex could work.

    Hope the information helped and great question by the way.

  4. #4
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Have you ever ridden in a vehicle with rigid tires? Don't. It's painful. That's why you can feel every little weld and junction in a train line, even though you practically can't even see the bumps.

    3d printing a tire may have some very niche uses (Mars rover parts for instance), but for general manufacturing, 3d printing is not the way to make a tire. The manufacturers have the process so streamlined and efficient, that there's little room for improvement.

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