In this case, the company used a series of hexagonal holes arranged in a three-dimensional grid, while the ball still has the typical stitch pattern of a regular ball. Such a complex structure can only be created with a 3D printer. This was done by companies using “research-grade” polymer material, which was then coated in black paint and sent to the NBA’s testing facility for “rigorous testing.”
Wilson says the airless prototype was designed to be very close to the performance of a regular NBA ball, including the weight and bounce of a leather ball when inflated to the right pressure.
Currently, Wilson isn’t making these balls to sell them or forcing the NBA to use them. It’s a concept ball, a testing ground, and an exploration of future possibilities.
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