by Don Friedman on June 30, 2016

Know any blacksmiths? There’s a job opening right now with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

This might sound like a joke* but it’s serious. Blacksmiths shape iron and steel in complex three-dimensional configurations that are not easily achievable using other methods.

The introduction of CAD/CAM cutters allows for extremely complex and precise 2D work, but the conditions of steel work (high temperature, working with a material with a high yield stress) are not amenable to the best technologies for 3D. I don’t expect to see steel 3D printing anytime soon.

On two different projects in recent years, we had blacksmiths (from the ironworks that were providing the ordinary structural steel) create intricate balcony brackets. Fantastic results using, literally, iron age technology.


*For those of us who grew up on Warner Brothers cartoons, anvils are fun. Particularly anvils made by the Acme corporation.

Previous post:

Next post: