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Yinka Illori Makes London’s First 3D Printed Basketball Court

Published on June 12, 2021 by Madeleine P.

Everyday life in the big city can sometimes be quite stressful, monotonous and frustrating. Especially in the past year and a half, when quality of life has had to be restricted and all social contact minimized. To give people back some joy as well as strengthen a sense of community, London’s Canary Wharf financial district commissioned local designer Yinka Ilori, known for his colorful creations, to design the first public basketball court in the district, made possible thanks to 3D printing.

As you can see, Yinka Ilori’s basketball court is a real eye-catcher. But it is not only the colors and shapes that are special here. The floor of the court is not made of hardwood or concrete, like conventional courts, but of 3D-printed tiles made of polypropylene, which were manufactured by the British company OnCourt. A major advantage of 3D printing these tiles is that the court markings have been embedded in the material itself, so the colors are more durable than painted-on markings. Ilori confirms, “The colors used on the court are very vibrant and I think they will last a long time. It’s still a sports court so there will be wear and tear but I think the colour and material will keep. People already started using it over the weekend but it’s still in good condition so I think that’s one of the key benefits.”

3D Printed Basketball Court

Designer Yinka Ilori in his custom-designed basketball court (photo credits: Matt Alexander and Sean Pollock).

In addition, OnCourt says the 3D-printed floor, called Traction², provides better traction (grip) and less stress on players’ knees and ankles. In fact, this project is the world’s first fully machine-printed sports court surface, proving once again that additive manufacturing can make the impossible possible. More detailed information about the 3D printing is not yet known.

As already mentioned, the basketball court is located in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. However, the court is only half the size of traditional courts and is therefore designed for 3×3 basketball games, where there are only three players of a team on the court at a time instead of five, and there is also only one basket. Designer Yinka Ilori put a lot of thought into the design of the court. For example, not only do colorful patterns adorn the walls of his project, but also the slogan “Be the best you can be.” With this statement, Ilori wants to encourage athletes of all abilities to literally stay on the ball after this inactive period. “It was about trying to inject this sense of hope and positivity into the space. All you can do is give your best – I think that applies to everything that we do in our lives,” says the Londoner.

3D-Druck Basketballplatz

The 3D-printed tiles (photo credits: Matt Alexander and Sean Pollock).

More information about this project and Ilori’s other work can be found HERE. What do you think of this 3D printed basketball court? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!

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