The advancements in additive manufacturing (AM) in the last decade are astonishing. While additive continues to propel high-level defense and aerospace innovations (remember that 3D printed lunar habitat module at IMTS 2022?), the technology is also adding to the competition in high-level athletics. We’ve been engrossed with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and thinking a lot about advancements in professional sports, so we went searching for the latest AM innovations in athletics. Here’s what we found:  An end to hot air – Sport’s giant Wilson developed a basketball that has no hot air, but all the traditional bounce expected of a basketball. It took the development team several years to find the correct geometry and appropriate materials to replicate the bounce of a basketball, but they did it.  A better bat – There is nothing like a Louisville Slugger, and the company intends to keep it that way by focusing on the future. The company is using Formlabs AM equipment for rapid prototyping, allowing them to speed development by easily creating new iterations every day. A better glove – Baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings teamed up with Carbon to design a professional glove that features 3D-printed lattice structures in the thumb and pinky. The improved parts make the glove lighter, more responsive, and ready for gameplay immediately. Fast Radius joined the team to help scale production while maintaining the strict requirements.  A hole in one for AM – Major golf club manufacturers are increasingly diving into AM to improve product performance and decrease development time. Callaway has been leading the way, working with General Electric Additive’s AddWorks team.  A helmet for every head – Since every person’s head is slightly different, Bauer and EOS are working together to create custom 3D-printed hockey helmet inserts. First, the player’s head is scanned, and a digital file is created, then EOS uses this model to 3D print a head-specific helmet!  A Zorro sighting – During the 2022 World Cup, fans spotted what looked like Zorro masks on some players. The masks, 3D printed to custom fit the player’s faces, were actually protective devices meant to keep players safe while they healed from previous injuries. It was also pretty intimidating! We now return you to your sports programming. Keep looking for AM innovations on the field, court, or pitch.  Shape the future of 3D printing  Join the conversation at Formnext Forum Austin, August 28-30, in Austin, Texas. Industrial AM innovation is the focus of the event, which is designed for industrial business leaders who want to further expand AM into their operations, as well as for those who want to evaluate AM as a production technology. It is also a place where engineers, researchers, and those who develop and apply AM technologies can exchange ideas that spur further innovations.    Register for Formnext Forum Austin to learn more at Use the discount code: FFAIMTS.    
Additive Manufacturing is quickly becoming an integral part of the sports world. As we all enjoy the Women’s World Cup, take a look at a few additive innovations that are changing the game.