What’s New in Software at Markforged - Blacksmith January 2022
Any organization 3D printing parts must ask themselves:
- Is our QA process reliable and efficient in ensuring that parts will perform as designed?
- What is the cost of out-of-spec parts to our business?
- What opportunities have we turned down because we couldn’t ensure a part’s dimensional accuracy?”
In March 2021, Markforged came up with a better way of answering these questions by launching the industry’s first Autopilot for digital manufacturing processes that connects part design, production, and inspection with powerful AI. We and our customers are excited about BlacksmithTM, the in-process, automated solution for inspecting and analyzing the outside and inside of 3D printed parts, replacing manual post-print inspection processes which are often unreliable, costly and time-consuming. It guarantees that every printed part has the same quality every time and everywhere there is a Blacksmith-enabled X7 printer, without the need for trained technicians at each location.
In January 2022, after a steady stream of capabilities added in 2021 since launch (see below) we have added two key improvements for customers using Blacksmith:
Choose scan density level for different part features.
At launch, Blacksmith offered users the choice of low, medium or high density scanning which determines the resolution of points generated and used to compare the part as printed to the part as designed. That choice of scanning density applied to the entire part. With the new Variable Scan Density, users are able to choose the overall scan density and then visually identify one or more groups of features to be scanned at different density levels. For example, high density may be chosen to inspect and analyze a small intricate feature while low or medium density may be sufficient for the other features. This will enable users to balance the need for higher resolution scanning and inspection with overall print and scan time to achieve higher part throughput. It will also help Blacksmith get smarter as it learns from anonymized data what part features really matter to customers.
Verify fiber placement in your parts.
At launch, Blacksmith offered users the ability to inspect many aspects of a printed part including walls, planar surfaces, infill and supports. For parts reinforced with fiber, users were unable to inspect the accuracy of fiber placement in their part using Blacksmith. With the new Fiber Placement Verification, users will now be able to automatically inspect the accuracy of carbon fiber placement in their part and get a visual indication in the Project Details panel that fiber placement has been verified. Previously a customer needing to inspect a part’s internal features and fiber would have had to either use a very expensive piece of inspection equipment like a CT Scanner, or break open a statistically significant number of sacrificial parts. Blacksmith’s non-destructive part inspection saves customers time and money.
For those of you who haven’t experienced the steady flow of new capabilities added to Blacksmith over the past 10 months, here’s a recap of 2021:
- Diverse Feature Detection - detect diverse types of part features including planar, spherical and cylindrical surfaces
- Custom reports - specify feature measurements such as angles and distances for inclusion in downloadable custom reports to provide the specific quantitative data and 3D images needed to satisfy internal and customer quality requirements
- 3D widgets - understand measurements more easily with the help of onscreen lines connecting surfaces to measurements
We look forward to hearing your questions, feedback and requests for digitizing and automating your part quality inspection processes with Blacksmith. Share them with our team directly or at https://markforged.com/contact-us
More details about Blacksmith:
Blacksmith - Autopilot for digital manufacturing processes that connects part design, production, and inspection with powerful AI. Blacksmith enables you to print the right part the first time and every subsequent time by leveraging onboard sensors, a patented calibration process, and rich in-process inspection reports — as opposed to sending parts out for expensive, time consuming post-print inspection. Blacksmith is a premium add-on to Markforged’s Eiger cloud-based digital manufacturing software for taking you from CAD to strong, functional parts quickly that can be shared and iterated.
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