Sporting goods manufacturer Wilson has unveiled the first-ever 3D-printed airless basketball in pre-production. The prototype was first revealed by Houston Rockets forward KJ Martin during his second attempt at an NBA Slam Dunk contest. The prototype was designed by his Wilsons Lab team, where General Lattice worked on computational design services, DyeMansion on color and finish, and EOS on additive manufacturing. Wilson’s team his sports general manager Kevin Murphy said of the prototype unveiling:
This black 3D printed airless basketball does not need to be inflated as the prototype relies on its unique construction and researched materials to copy the bouncing motion of a real basketball. The prototype follows a traditional NBA-approved basketball design, with hexagonal holes in the surface of the ball that allow air to pass through without restriction. The prototype was a success in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. It never broke or ripped during dunk attempts. The 3D printed airless basketball is still in the prototype stage and will be enhanced with further refinements and research, but we have no plans to change the official NBA game ball.
Image Credit: Wilson