Meet Blacksmith: The Adaptive Manufacturing Platform

#Nov 08, 2023

Blacksmith connects part design, manufacturing and inspection with powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will lower the cost of production, accelerate time to market and reshape the industry as we know it. The main goal for Blacksmith is to provide engineers with tools that allow them to do anything they can imagine.

Blacksmith includes a number of features that will enhance and automate production processes. These are:

Printer Calibration

When a new Markforged X7 is purchased, it has passed a rigorous system level inspection at our manufacturing facility and is known to meet our high quality standard. Markforged customers run their systems hard. The X7 has been manufactured and deployed in some of the most challenging production environments worldwide since 2016. We have created a series of automatic calibration procedures to ensure that each printer operates to the high standards required of Blacksmith. Some of these tools are new and have been developed specifically for Blacksmith in addition to the standard off-the-shelf installation tools. When activated, Blacksmith provides an easy-to-use utility that guides the user through a full range of automatic calibration procedures.

Inspection During the Procedure

Blacksmith inspects parts during printing using the X7 built-in laser micrometer and patented scanning process. Intelligently creates a laser inspection toolpath for your part and build settings at parting time. Resolution can be controlled by the user, allowing trade-off decisions to be made between scanning density and printing time. Once a part is configured and the build is locked, the user simply presses the print button and the printing and scanning process is automatically completed.
As the scan resolution increases, Blacksmith can collect more data during the printing process. This means Blacksmith can measure smaller features accurately while also increasing the time spent scanning during printing. Increasing the scan resolution also allows us to reduce the mean error for all part feature measurements, resulting in tighter scan accuracy reporting.

Automatic Quality Reports

Blacksmith automates the collection, loading and saving of high-accuracy on-site measurement data. Blacksmith provides a set of intuitive visualizations that simplify part inspection, save time, and ultimately increase production efficiency.
Blacksmith provides a set of easy-to-use tools to view your part and data in 3D and select critical tolerances in real time. If you need a part feature to be within ±100 µm of the intended design, for example, you can select it in the bar and all the dots above will turn red so you can evaluate whether the part is acceptable for your particular application. Users can also view track history scan data from this page, making traceability easier.

Where is Blacksmith used today?

Get replacement sets faster

A manufacturer currently supplies go/no go indicators from a vendor. These go/no go indicators are reviewed and verified by the seller, but may take weeks to arrive. These gauges are often misplaced or broken easily on the manufacturing floor and can halt production when not available. Blacksmith will allow a customer to print these measurements multiple times and automatically verify the part on demand without waiting for a vendor. This will allow the line to be installed and run significantly faster.

Increase quality department resources

The current workflow is for teams to go to a separate quality department that already has a week’s backlog. This delay puts the shipping date of the final product at risk. With Blacksmith, the design engineer can verify the part right off the print bed and get it to the floor faster.

Automatic verification and traceability

A customer is making an end-use part to be shipped to one of their customers. The end customer requires documentation to ensure the part meets their specifications. With Blacksmith, the manufacturer can send an automatic print report to give confidence to the part. The print report is stored in Eiger and can be referenced at any future date. If the customer requests that part again, print reports can be compared to ensure the parts are identical.

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