Berlin-based maker of super-sized 3D printers BigRep has introduced what it's calling the "world's first 3D printed airless bicycle tire."
The tire resembles other airless automotive prototypes where you can see right through to the other side. BigRep's Maik Dobberack tells CNET the idea is to be able to customize the tires according to your needs. This means you may print a tire with a different internal pattern or tread to accommodate mountain riding versus road riding, or to handle different weather conditions.
Bicyclist Marco Mattia Cristofori took them for a spin around Berlin and reported a "very smooth ride." Cristofori also designed the 3D printed tires.
"The main goal of the design was to inspire and explore the endless possibilities of large-scale 3D printing," Dobberack says.
However, you cannot get a hold of the tires just yet. Dobberack describes the tires as an "in-house industrial application design" that isn't meant for large-scale production at this time.
The prototypes were created to test BigRep's new Pro Flex filament, which can be used for rapid prototyping for a variety of objects including skateboard wheels and automotive gear knobs.
This isn't BigRep's initial venture into wheels. The company recently created a 3D-printed custom wheel rim for a car, and a group of engineers used a BigRep machine to print out a functional bicycle frame.
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