Plastics News by

PLASTIC FANTASTIC: Basketball puts on new airs... minus the air.

We love basketball. Ball is life, as they say: we eat, sleep, and breathe it. Weve torn up floorboards and shattered backboards, soaring to new heights built on dreams of sold-out nights, all in the name of the game. Our energetic athleticism reminds diehard fans of a young Shaq, and were practically on a first-name basis with the likes of Dirk Nowitzki or Michael Air Jordan. Yet, while basketball is oxygen to our lungs and we deify the sports greats with monikers like His Airness, its latest innovation isnt built on air at all.

Out of the printer and into the hoop: Wilsons airless basketballs (Photo: Wilson)

US sporting goods manufacturer Wilson has put into play a new high-tech basketball that is hollow on the inside and never needs to be inflated. Its perforated outer skin, featuring a haptic-friendly hexagonal grid structure, is produced on a special 3D printer from a top-secret polymer mixture.

Logic of course dictates that the unit price of the Airless Gen 1 be slightly higher than its air-filled counterparts or more than slightly, at 2,500 dollars a pop. After all, less often costs more, and even when it comes to sports, progress is actually priceless...

More news on