B3 Cricket. If you haven’t heard of them and you are into your cricket kit, or even, you just play cricket, then you probably should have. They were started by a couple of ex-GM guys and essentially they make cricket bats using CNC technology. But that’s a far too simple statement of what they are up to.
B3 are probably the first brand ever in cricket to truly offer “Mass Customisation” of a cricket bat. What does this mean? According to the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, it is “The use of flexible computer-aided manufacturing systems to produce custom output. Those systems combine the low unit costs of mass production processes with the flexibility of individual customization.” Or to put it another way, it is the ability to take a standard product and make it precisely to each buyers’ requirements, however individual they may be, without significantly increasing the cost.
What do they do? The guys at B3 have developed a technique they call “Bat Mapping” that allows them to take your favourite old bat that is on its last legs and make you an exact replica, even down to choosing a piece of willow that has the same density as the one your original was made from so that the Pick-Up is as near as possible to your original. Impressive, huh? And they can do this purely from a set of pictures… Even more so.
While the process is ongoing, you get digital images of the bat and you can tweak it as you see fit to ensure it’s exactly what you want, before it is manufactured.
I used it to the original Powerbow shape replicated in a Long Blade version, and I think they did a damn good job, and the pictures below give some idea, although I have yet to take better ones.
Once this is made, the code remains on record and you, or anyone else, can have another made. And with the way that B3 manage densities, they can make it in whatever weight required, simply by changing the willow cleft. Clever.
But not only that, it comes with a “Ping Guarantee”. Once you’ve had your bespoke bat made up, B3 check the rebound of the bat in the factory and if it is not up to scratch, they will remake the bat. See the video below:
So there you have it. A relatively new player in the Cricket industry that is already making bats for a significant number of international players and brands (I believe New Balance is one), who will make you whatever bat you want! Nice to see this kind of innovation to challenge the big boys and good luck to the team at B3 who are coming up to their second birthday!