The composite and metal 3D printer manufacturer Markforged has announced a new software platform – Blacksmith – for adaptive and automated manufacturing. Starting with the two industrial 3D printers Metal X and X7, Markforged will enable more accurate 3D printed parts, cut waste and shorten time to market.
Blacksmith, as the new adaptive software platform is called, is the first Artificial Intelligence powered software that makes manufacturing machines ‘aware’. This means equipment can automatically adjust programming to ensure every part is produced as designed. Blacksmith is a breakthrough in smart factories and the first example of Adaptive Manufacturing, which will reduce the cost of production and reshape the industry as we know it.
“For the last hundred years, machines have been unaware of what they’re creating and would happily waste millions of dollars producing out-of-spec parts. We’re going to fix that by connecting the machines that make parts, and the ones that inspect them, with a powerful AI,” said Greg Mark, CEO of Markforged. “Much like the way Tesla is building autopilot for cars, we are building an autopilot for manufacturing.”
The new software platform will create a continuous feedback loop to make 3D printed parts more accurate. The intelligent software massively cuts waste and accelerates time to market. It analyzes a design, compares it to the scanned part, and automatically adapts the end-to-end process to produce perfectly in-spec parts.
“3D printing is just the start — we plan to extend the Blacksmith AI to connect all machines in your factory,” said Mark. “We will enable the first generation of machines that know what they’re supposed to make, and can adjust themselves to produce the right part, every time.”
Blacksmith will be particularly powerful for the new generation of metal 3D printing. The latest breakthrough methods all require sintering — a process that notoriously distorts parts. Blacksmith will eliminate this challenge and deliver precise parts post-sintering.
No release date has been set for Markforged Blacksmith, but the solution will be available later in this year.