Wilson Introduces an Airless, 3D Printed Basketball That Bounces as Well as the Original

Wilson has been making basketballs for nearly 100 years, but the iconic orange ball hasn’t changed much in that long timeframe.

Now, Wilson is stepping into the future, with their 3D-printed, airless prototype. Made with a highly flexible 3D hexagonal mesh structure, the ball is a technical achievement, especially because it supposedly works as well as a traditional basketball.

With no internal structure, and no air, the ball will seemingly last forever, and shows the promise of 3D printing in the world of professional sports.

Check out the making of video below.

“Wilson has taken its first steps toward eliminating that possibility with its Airless Prototype Basketball. Developed by the same team that’s behind the NBA game ball, the prototype uses a 3D-printed structure and research-grade materials to replicate the bounce of a traditional ball. Small hexagonal holes laid across eight panel-like lobes allow air to pass through the ball freely, giving it a unique look that was first debuted by KJ Martin of the Houston Rockets during the 2023 Slam Dunk Contest.”


Wilson considers this to only be a concept right now, and not available for purchase. But we can imagine more and more applications for this unique, 3D-printed hexagonal structure.