AI Software Streamlines AM Workflow Producing Accurate Parts Right From Print Bed
Markforged, creator of the integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform The Digital Forge, has announced the immediate availability of Blacksmith software for Markforged X7 printers. The release of Blacksmith marks a major step on the journey toward the future of autonomous manufacturing, a world where 3D printers will intelligently adapt themselves and account for variables that can affect a part as it’s printed so that it prints accurately and precisely the first time. Using Blacksmith, manufacturers will be able to instantly print accurate parts across The Digital Forge, anywhere in the world.
Blacksmith connects part design, production and inspection with the ability to learn through artificial intelligence (AI). As Blacksmith leverages federated learning across the printer fleet, manufacturers will be able to print the right part every time, bringing resiliency and agility to their supply chains. Today with Blacksmith, manufacturers can print and scan their part simultaneously to assess how close the printed part is to the intended design. Blacksmith is designed to continuously learn from each print through closed loop processing – so that parts can be printed accurately and precisely every time. The intelligent software analyzes a design, compares it to scanned part data captured from inspection equipment, and dynamically adapts the end-to-end process to ultimately produce perfectly in-spec parts.
For the first time, the printer is fully aware of the parts it produces. Blacksmith uses in-process part inspection to give customers confidence in the part after every print. By streamlining this workflow, Blacksmith makes the world’s factories more cost-efficient, accelerates time to market and reduces the cost of production.
Blacksmith’s easy-to-use intelligent software harnesses the power of the X7’s existing integrated laser micrometer and a patented smart scanning process to securely measure parts as they are being printed. The part dimensional data is then automatically evaluated against the intended design files. Scanning while printing will enable inspection of the inner part structure and critical features that would otherwise be impossible in a single step after fabrication.
“Markforged’s Blacksmith enables dimensional confirmation of additive parts straight off the print bed, giving engineers confidence that the parts are within spec prior to use,” said Kelly Puckett, senior engineering manager for additive manufacturing, Dana Inc. “There is no need for secondary systems, additional equipment or separate databases for results – all of which help streamline workflows and get us to market faster. Blacksmith also allows for comparative data when printing the same part in multiple locations around the world, critical for multinational organizations like Dana.”
“We knew that it would only be possible to reinvent manufacturing with a software-first approach to building hardware,” said David Benhaim, CTO and cofounder, Markforged. “Blacksmith fundamentally changes the way engineers think about additive manufacturing. For the first time, they will have confidence that their parts will perform as expected without a time-consuming process. Blacksmith makes our platform smarter and is the next step on our roadmap to bring the agility of software to the world of manufacturing.”
Blacksmith is available as a software subscription on all cloud-connected Markforged X7 printers. Blacksmith is provisioned through over-the-air updates for easy customer access and requires an OEM-certified reference bed calibration.
For more information: www.markforged.com