Wilson’s Airless Prototype reinvents the basketball. Using powder and lasers to create a new kind of basketball, this new prototype pushes boundaries. The company has been working with 3D technology to design a prototype that never goes flat. This 3D technology replaces pressurized bladders and maintains the ball’s bounce and ability to absorb impacts.
Wilson and EOS partnered up to manufacture this unique basketball design in a pattern with open hexagons, not sealed panels in leather. EOS specializes in 3D printing for aerospace and medical applications. Now they’re working with Wilson to develop additive 3D printing technology to build layers of melted plastic, using powdered resin and a laser to create ultra-thin stacked layers, resulting in the Wilson Airless Prototype.
This hollow basketball closely matches the regulation basketball performance specifications in size, weight, and bounce. 3D-print technology also allows for fabrication in various colors. For example, the Wilson Airless Prototype recently debuted in black at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
Although there are no current plans to use the new design in the NBA, Wilson plans to continue development, improving the design. Wilson says there’s still work to do before it’s ready for courts worldwide. But the company is thrilled by the possibilities this prototype represents for revolutionary sustainability through additive manufacturing. The possibilities for other sports and future Wilson products are endless, and there’s definitely more to come.
For more from Wilson, check out the Wilson Wlabs Shift 99/300 Tennis Racket.