Carbon x Rawlings Play Ball

By on July 15th, 2021 in news, Usage

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Carbon x Rawlings Play Ball
The partially 3D printed REV1X glove in action [Source: Carbon]

The next generation of pro baseball glove brings 3D printed lattices to the ballpark.

California-based Carbon has made major waves in commercializing industrial 3D printing. While some of the major application areas for additive manufacturing can be found among automotive and dental users, Carbon has also been making a name for itself in perhaps a less obvious arena: professional sports.

Since their first major collaboration to 3D print midsoles in adidas shoes, Carbon has been clear about their intent for significant market impact for durable, wearable use.

The key behind every advance in these areas lies in their advanced lattice generation technology. Automating smart lattice structures enables mass production of strength, support, flexibility, and other key-in-able performance factors exactly where they’re needed. For, well, almost anything, it seems.

To date we’ve seen Carbon arise with major partnerships to enhance athletic gear for biking, with 3D printed bicycle saddles with both fizik and Specialized; American football with NFL-usable helmet liners with Ridell; and hockey with NHL-usable helmet liners with CCM Hockey.

Now, Carbon is taking on another American pastime with baseball gloves.

Carbon has teamed up with Rawlings, “the Official Glove of Major League Baseball,” to create the REV1x series of advanced baseball gloves.

As with any specialized elite sporting equipment, there’s much more to the manufacture of baseball gloves than first meets the eye.

As a casual and very occasional baseball spectator, I’ve honestly never given much thought to the gloves players use. All I know is as a kid I hated playing softball and didn’t care for the seemingly-oversized gloves used in these sports; it always felt too floppy and hard for my child-sized non-dominant hand to control well. For actual professional athletes, though, the glove is critical to the game.

And critical to the years-long development of this new REV1X line is both Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing technology and well-known All-Star New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor, who has been able to offer several seasons’ worth of feedback as the REV1X glove evolved, has been playing with the glove (and will be the face of its official US marketing campaign).

“From the famous Bill Doak glove developed in the early 1920’s that was the first to include a pocket and web, to the creation of the Trap-Eze web in the late ‘50’s, to the newly released REV1X, Rawlings has always been at the forefront of glove technology and innovation,” said Ryan Farrar, senior director of ball gloves. “Rawlings continues to work alongside pros, the best in the game, to ensure our gloves are worthy of the highest-level of performance, and the feedback we’ve received from Francisco Lindor validates our belief that the REV1X will forever revolutionize defense.”

The REV1X glove series encompasses four models in various sizes from 11 ½” to 12 ¾”, infield and outfield designs, and different patterns. A DLS-made optimized lattice structure helps give the glove the shape and performance it needs, offering what Carbon’s release describes as “thinner, yet sturdier padding that won’t deteriorate over time.”

“Further,” the release adds, “the REV1X is constructed with Carbon’s 3D-optimized lattice structure, providing variable stiffness in the thumb and pinky, which significantly reduces weight without sacrificing protection, durability, or playability.”

Phil DeSimone, Chief Product and Business Development Officer at Carbon, adds of the tech:

“These lattice structures are designed to add stiffness in the regions where it is necessary and soften regions where a certain flexure is required, adding another dimension of control in the design. During the design iterations, Rawlings was able to assemble and test the latticed finger pads right away, accelerating the product development cycle of about 10 months.”

A lace-less web, adaptive fit system, and Heart of the Hide leather palm and gusset also feature in the designs, together with high-quality materials for an “ultra-lightweight, form-fitting, grame-ready glove.”

[Source: Carbon]

The third key partner to this introduction is Fast Radius, doing the manufacturing. The fast-growing Chicago-based digital manufacturing company is a major Carbon technology user, offering industrial 3D printing capabilities among other technologies.

The REV1x gloves are available now, priced at $399.95.

As ever, with another major league collaboration, Carbon is here to play ball in advanced 3D printing.

Via Carbon, Rawlings, and Fast Radius

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.

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