Home Applications & Case Studies Wilson’s 3D-printed basketball hits the market

Wilson’s 3D-printed basketball hits the market

The American sporting goods manufacturer Wilson is launching a 3D-printed basketball without an air bubble, the “Airless Gen1”. The basketball was developed in collaboration with 3D design company General Lattice and costs USD 2,500 per unit.

According to Wilson, the Airless Gen1 meets the performance standards of an NBA ball in terms of weight, size and bounce. The 3D-printed lattice structure replaces the air bladder and enables lasting dimensional stability. The EOS P396 3D printer from EOS is used for production. The balls are then dyed at DyeMansion and undergo a surface treatment.

A number of improvements were made compared to the prototype. For example, the grid was optimized through digital and physical tests in order to achieve consistent ball performance. In addition, the production time was shortened thanks to openings in the grid that allow loose powder to be removed more quickly.

According to Wilson, 3D printing technology enables sustainable production and rapid customization. In the future, the company plans to further develop the “Gen2”. The long-term goal is to establish 3D printing as an alternative manufacturing standard in the sporting goods industry.

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