Picture this: Robotic arms craft an ornate steel bridge, strong enough to stand for decades, almost out of thin air. It’s not a scene from a sci-fi flick. In the first enterprise of its kind, a Dutch startup is set to build a very real pedestrian bridge over a canal in Amsterdam using its own 3D-printing robots.
The project, set to be completed over two months in 2017, is a test for MX3D, a research and development firm whose specialized, multi-axis robots are built to “draw” metal and resin structures in 3D. The technology would allow infrastructure and other large objects to be printed in place, a possibility that could have pivotal implications for construction and design.
More broadly, the project marks a crucial step forward in the union of art, industry, and technology. “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,” Joris Laarman, a Dutch artist and entrepreneur who will be designing the bridge, said on the project’s page. … (read more)