Physics and Computer Simulations Helped Create a Never-Miss Basketball Hoop

You no longer need to be in the NBA to shoot perfect hoops.
Fabienne Lang
Basketball hoop that never missesStuff Made Here/YouTube

Gone are the days of practicing shooting hoops hours on end just to try and get most of your shots into the basket. All you now need is some physics, computer simulation software knowledge, and a few tools to build yourself the never-miss basketball hoop of your NBA dreams. 

A creation built by YouTuber Shane Wighton is a "simple" custom curved backboard that directs every basketball shot into the basket. Every. Single. One. 

A fair bit of thought, curiosity, and engineering went into this backboard's design, here's how it came to life. 


A never-ending win

In order for each and every one of the basketball shots to go through the hoop, Wighton had to first create a piece of computer software that simulated ball throws from hundreds of different angles and shots. Once that was completed the end result for the backboard's shape was a shallow elliptic paraboloid, a shape usually reserved for decorative fruit bowls. 

Then the software created a 3D mesh by a CNC cutting tool and the backboard was carved from blocks of softwood. The carved out blocks were assembled into one large smooth shape after spray foam was used to fill in the gaps. 

The first few trials were unfortunately disappointing, with many shots not landing in the basket. Most shots were directed to the front of the hoop, causing them to bounce outwards. After looking into the issue, Wighton figured out that his calculations hadn't taken into account the size of the ball. He promptly resolved the matter by shifting the hoop a few centimeters (inches) forward and tada, every single shot went through the hoop.

This creation is another great example of how science comes into play when skill is not necessarily available. Sadly, the backboard won't be joining regulatory games anytime soon, but that wasn't the point of creating it. It was a fun, yet not so simple, project that turned out well. 


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