Wilson Sporting Goods Co. released the Wilson Airless Gen1 – the first 3D-printed basketball that never needs to be inflated. Building off the success of the Airless Prototype debut last year, the limited-edition Wilson Airless Gen1 basketball will be available on February 16.

“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,” said Kevin Murphy, general manager of Team Sports at Wilson. “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.”

The Wilson Airless Gen1 functions similarly to the prototype; however, the Wilson Labs team increased performance over the last year and streamlined the manufacturing process. The basketball nearly fits the performance specifications of a regulation basketball, including its weight, size and rebound (bounce). The main updates to the basketball include:

  • Upgraded lattice design for more consistent performance and bounce. The ball still includes the same see-through lattice with eight panel-like “lobes.”
  • Holes integrated within the channels to speed up the manufacturing process, making it faster to create each ball. The basketball remains airless and does not need to be inflated.
  • Each ball will have a built-in label for customization and will feature the limited number in which it was produced.
  • In addition to the jet-black colorway of the prototype, the Airless Gen1 will also be available in brown and natural white.

The Wilson Labs team leveraged the same process to create the Wilson Gen1 Airless basketball with key partners: General Lattice provided computational design services for elevated performance optimization, DyeMansion provided color and finishing solutions, EOS provided technical oversight and a roadmap for mass production, and SNL Creative was the primary manufacturing hub for the first launch.

Limited units of the Wilson Airless Gen1 will be available exclusively on Wilson.com beginning February 16. Fans can also see the basketball at Wilson’s on-site activation at NBA Crossover in Indianapolis from February 16-18.

Images courtesy Wilson/Woodwork Amsterdam