Can you Imagine a Robotic Blacksmith? Here is Your Chance!

In 2017, a team of undergraduates from Ohio State University demonstrated use of of an advanced manufacturing technique, which promises an upper-hand on 3D printing. The new technique known as metamorphic manufacturing promises to produce finer and more homogenous dough for manufacturing products.

This basic concept is also referred to as robotic blacksmithing. The main idea behind this is, conventional blacksmiths can provide more rigidity to metals with various casting, machining, and forging methods. However, these methods are unfeasible for components as large aircraft parts, which can weigh near a tonne. Hence, use of robotics can integrate the process of deformation, and manufacturing from scratch, known to traditional blacksmiths.

Moreover, the method produced significant results in the 2017 challenge organized by a government funded consortium. The consortium known as LIFT, or Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow demonstrated the efficacy of digitally controlled deformation-based shaping.

Furthermore, the new technique promises to shape new parts repeatedly. It has also availed by the likes of Tesla to engage in advanced manufacturing. The manufacturing methods involve repeatedly, and incrementally forming a piece of metal, with a precise position. The automated hammer then will utilize various tools to bring it into a desired final shape.

The Necessity of Synchronization

Additionally, according to experts on robotic blacksmithing like Glenn S. Daehn, synchronization is essential for robotic blacksmithing to succeed. According to him, robotic blacksmith will require more control on surrounding temperatures, the know-how of shapes of final products, and condition of material beforehand to succeed. This will require synchronization of various technologies. He also believes of cluster of manufacturing like manufacturing of personal electronics in China are something United States can learn from.

The learning here is essential if economies like the US wants to bring jobs back to the country. According to him, robotic blacksmithing provides an opportunity for countries like the US to bring manufacturing back to its shore.

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