Apparently this 3D-printed ball—specific production method unknown, but my guess is selective laser sintering—is almost ready for primetime: "The 3D printed ball is truly playable, nearly fitting the performance specifications of a regulation basketball, including its weight, size and rebound (bounce)," the company writes. And while the ball isn't ready to be signed off on by the NBA for regulation play, Wilson did manage to slip it into this month's Slam Dunk contest:
Enter a caption (optional)
Assuming they iron out whatever kinks prevent it from fully meeting regulations, the question of the ball's viability will then be one of cost. Basketball and soccer are two sports that require minimal infrastructure and gear (as opposed to say, hockey or baseball), and if the pump can be done away with and the ball made affordable, entire generations of underprivileged kids stand to benefit.
Join over 240,000 designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter.
Test it out; it only takes a single click to unsubscribe