Markforged Launches Blacksmith Software that Uses AI to Automatically Adjust 3D Printers

Metal additive manufacturing company platform promises adaptive manufacturing, allowing manufacturing equipment to reprogram itself to make perfect parts.

Metal additive manufacturing company platform promises adaptive manufacturing, allowing manufacturing equipment to reprogram itself to make perfect parts.

Markforged’s Blacksmith software promises to deliver adaptive manufacturing. Image courtesy of Markforged.

Markforged, a provider of metal and carbon fiber 3D printers, has announced Blacksmith, which it describes as artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software that makes manufacturing machines “aware” so they can automatically adjust programming to ensure every part is produced as designed.

“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.”

— Greg Mark, CEO of Markforged

“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.”

Starting with Markforged’s Metal X and X7 3D printers, the company says Blacksmith will create a continuous feedback loop to make 3D printed parts more accurate. The software is intended to massively cut waste and accelerate 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, according to Markforged.

“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 metal 3D printing that requires sintering—a process that notoriously distorts parts. Markforged says Blacksmith will eliminate this challenge and deliver precise parts post-sintering.

Blacksmith will be available later this year.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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