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Batter up! Rawlings and Carbon bring 3D printing to baseball

New REV1X baseball glove features 3D printed lattice

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From hockey to fishing, Carbon is making an undeniable mark on the sporting world, demonstrating how versatile 3D printing is for athletic equipment and applications. Its latest collaboration in the segment is something of a home run. The California-based company worked closely with digital manufacturing company Fast Radius and Major League Baseball glove supplier Rawlings to develop a new, partially 3D printed baseball mitt series, REV1X.

Founded in 1887, Rawlings is behind many innovations in baseball equipment over the past century, especially when it comes to gloves. The company pioneered the pocket and web design in the 1920s with the help of pitcher Bill Doak, and introduced the novel Trap-Eze web design in the 1950s. Today, they are taking another big step with the release of the REV1X series, which features a lace-less web, adaptive fit, leather palm and gusset and, above all, 3D printed lattice support made by Fast Radius using Carbon’s technology.

Carbon Rawlings REV1X glove

The glove itself was designed in cooperation with Francisco Lindor, four-time All-Star shortstop for the New York Mets, who provided substantial feedback over the years to perfect the handy piece of equipment. Lindor—a Rawlings Platinum and Gold Glove Award winner—will fittingly be the face of the REV1X marketing campaign across the United States.

“From the famous Bill Doak glove developed in the early 1920s that was the first to include a pocket and web, to the creation of the Trap-Eze web in the late ‘50s, to the newly released REV1X, Rawlings has always been at the forefront of glove technology and innovation,” commented 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 has been in the works for several years, with Rawlings engineers working closely with Carbon to design a unique 3D printed lattice structure for internal finger support. The lattice, made using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology, has a number of benefits. For one, the structure provides variable stiffness in the thumb and pinky, which reduces glove weight without compromising on protection and durability. Second, the internal lattice has allowed for a thinner glove profile with more robust padding. The result, as Carbon says, is an “ultra-lightweight, form-fitting, game-ready glove that provides athletes with consistent playability.”

“We are excited about the innovation Rawlings is bringing to baseball with the new REV1X glove,” added Phil DeSimone, chief product and business development officer at Carbon. “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.”

Carbon Rawlings REV1X glove

Other notable (non-3D printed) features include a lace-less web design, which effectively eliminates top-of-the-web lacing and boosts fielding consistency; an adaptive fit system that can accommodate a broader range of wrist sizes; and Heart of the Hide palm and gusset leather padding. The REV1X glove series comprises four different models that come in various sizes and patterns. They are available for purchase on Rawlings’ website as well as through other specialized retailers.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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