How do they make snooker balls?


They must be microscopically accurately spherical for such a precise game, how do they do it?

In: 1

Getting them very spherical and very smooth isn’t actually the toughest part, though it does have to be done really consistently and precisely. Something like 80% of the billiard balls in the world are made by one company, Aramith, and they do it by injecting a heated resin into a spherical mold, then, once it’s solidified, sanding and polishing it to make it smooth and round. But you could do that with most materials. The harder part is actually the resin itself, which has to be stable and homogenous enough to guarantee that the weighting of the ball is perfect, so that the center of gravity is dead center, while also being hard enough to resist the collisions without deforming. There’s a lot of quality control in place.

One fun fact though is that the whole injection and polishing process can’t always guarantee that the weights are the same, at least not to the enormous degree of precision that the material’s density and smoothness can be guaranteed. So what they do is they sort balls by weight and put the like weights together in the same sets, so that every ball used in a particular game is the same, even if your set is a tiny fraction heavier than the set being used at the table next to you.