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Rawlings Transforms MLB Baseball Gloves with 3D Printing

MLB All-Stars provide input to 3D print futuristic baseball gloves.

America’s pastime is seeing the next step in glove technology. The minds of Fast Radius, Rawlings and Carbon have come together to create the newest baseball brand release, the REV1X glove. 

Fast Radius, a digital manufacturing company, partnered with sports manufacturer Rawlings and 3D printing technology company Carbon to put the next defensive tool on the baseball diamond. 

The glove, used by players such as defensive specialist Francisco Lindor, uses a lattice design in the pinky and thumb inserts. The lattice was designed by Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing process.

The inspiration for the glove comes from players’ desire to have a glove with a pinky and thumb that stayed stiffer over time rather than becoming floppy, which can make a world of difference on batted balls with exit velocities exceeding 100 mph. 

In its production, Rawlings sought out to remove conventional materials used in gloves such as foams and plastics. They replaced them with light-weight structures that allowed the stiffness to be tuned. 

The tricky part came with making the lattice pads adaptable and able to withstand the impact of a baseball. Carbon’s FPU 50, a rigid and flexible polyurethane, proved to be the optimal material for the glove. 

With experience scaling elastomeric lattices to production, Fast Radius scaled up the glove. Fast Radius Cloud Manufacturing Platform™ also helped with the production process by storing information from design files to custom post-processing methods. 

Senior director of ball gloves at Rawlings Ryan Farrar said, “The glove is transformative for everyone in the baseball industry – both professionals and amateurs alike. Fast Radius is making it possible for us to share the REV1X with our customers across the globe.”

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