3D printing Robot is gonna Build a Steel Bridge

An artistic Render.

I never knew that a 3D printer would really work outside printing little toys for Mascots. But, as it seems, it is already ready to mould and print our future! Welcome to the new World! And it all starts with a bridge!!
MX3D, a research and development startup company, will use robots to 3D print a pedestrian bridge across one of Amsterdam’s canals. The versatile six-axis robotic arms will ‘draw’ steel structures in 3D, starting from one side of the canal and building across until it reaches the other end. The robot will also print its own support, which allows it to work autonomously. The location of the bridge will be announced soon and construction is set to commence in 2017.

Joris Laarman, the designer of the bridge says, “I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in “the new craft”. This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form. The symbolism of the bridge is a beautiful metaphor to connect the technology of the future with the old city, in a way that brings out the best of both worlds.”

The team has been able to overcome the shape and size restrictions of conventional 3D printing. This 3D printing robot works out of the box, i.e., by printing with 6-axis industrial robots, they are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens.

MX3D engineers spent a lot time perfecting the robotic printer, which they say first started off as “worm-like blobs.” A few things did go wrong along the way, “a welding machine exploded, nozzles got stuck and the robot got destroyed.” Eventually—after “endless testing”—MX3D engineers were able draw complex sculptures in mid-air and then speed up the process.
This project is supported by partners, Autodesk, Heijmans, Air Liquide sponsors, ABB robotics, STV, Delcam, Within, Lenovo, public partners TU Delft, AMS, Amsterdam City Council.

An animated Rendering

 Already 3D printers have set their marks in many industries but this their first ever BIG venture. Hope all goes right!

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