In an effort to improve the sport, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. teamed up with General Lattice, EOS, and DyeMansion to introduce the first 3D-printed Airless Prototype Basketball. This cooperative effort highlights the advantages of teamwork within the industry and highlights the ground-breaking capabilities of additive manufacturing.
Through digital innovation, additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is revolutionizing the sports industry by offering unmatched design freedom in comparison to conventional manufacturing techniques. General Lattice provided computational design services, EOS provided the 3D printing at its technical center, and DyeMansion provided post-processing with their surfacing and coloring options. The three businesses collaborated closely.
Wilson collaborated with GL Labs, General Lattice's enterprise solutions group, to realize their concept by accelerating the design and iteration procedures with the help of its computational design tools and workflows. According to General Lattice CEO Nick Florek, "GL Labs and its tools' flexibility enables customers to integrate data throughout the design process to arrive at optimal solutions more quickly.
EOS 3D printed the Airless Prototype using an EOS P 396 and specialized materials after the design was completed.
David Krzeminski, Ph.D., senior consultant with Additive Minds at EOS, said: "What Wilson is doing with its Airless Prototype is such a great technology showcase, demonstrating yet again how to achieve entirely new ideas with mature applications. We frequently observe AM innovation in the business-to-business sector, but lately, creative companies like Wilson are looking into how to use AM for mass customization products that give customers exactly what they want in the products they buy.
Basketball is a "low equipment" sport, so replacing its most important component—the basketball—is a significant undertaking, according to Lester Hitch, Application Consultant at DyeMansion North America. Our team in North America concentrated on perfecting the vapor smoothing treatment to produce a uniform finish that met the Wilson team's expectations based on prior experience manufacturing basketballs.
The partnership between Wilson, General Lattice, EOS, and DyeMansion exemplifies the potential of additive manufacturing and computational design by combining their respective fields of expertise. Design innovation is made possible by this collaborative effort, which makes ideas more real than ever.
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