Markforged announced Blacksmith — an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered software that makes manufacturing machines ‘aware’ so they can automatically adjust programming to ensure every part is produced as designed. According to Markforged, 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.
Past generations of machines have been “unaware” and will produce out-of-spec parts until stopped. “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.”
Starting with Markforged’s Metal X and X7 3D printers, Blacksmith will create a continuous feedback loop to make 3D printed parts more accurate. The intelligent software 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 suit 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.
Blacksmith will be available later this year.