Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
Wilson Sporting Goods Co. on Tuesday announced the Wilson Airless Gen1, a first-of-its-kind 3D-printed basketball.
The limited-edition Airless Gen1, based on the Airless prototype introduced last year, never needs to be inflated and nearly fits the performance specifications of a regulation basketball, the company said.
We were overwhelmed by the excitement from our Airless Prototype, and we knew it was time to bring this rare, first-of-its kind innovation to the world, Kevin Murphy, General Manager of Team Sports at Wilson, said in a statement. Wilson has gone where no brand has gone before with the release of the Airless Gen1 basketball, further inspiring the next generation of sports innovation.
Wilson is the supplier of Official Game Basketballs for the NBA, and after improving on the prototype, the 3D-printed basketball’s weight, size and rebound, or bounce, nearly conform to game regulations, the company said. The update includes an upgraded lattice design for more consistent performance and bounce.
The Airless Gen1 also features holes integrated within the channels to speed up the manufacturing process, a built-in label for customization, and two new colors — brown and natural white — in addition to the black color of the prototype.
The Wilson Labs team partnered with General Lattice for computational design services to optimize performance, DyeMansion for color and finishing, and EOS for technical oversight and a mass production roadmap. SNL Creative was the primary manufacturing hub for the first launch.
Limited units of the Wilson Airless Gen1 will be available for $2,500 exclusively on Wilson.com beginning Friday, Feb. 16. Fans will be able to experience the Airless Gen1 at Wilson’s on-site activation at NBA Crossover in Indianapolis Feb. 16–18.
TMX contributed to this article.