JUN 15, 2015 12:17 PM PDT

A Bridge is About to Go Up By Way of 3D Printer

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Most of the time when you think about bridge construction, you think about large construction crews, barges and cranes carrying heavy construction objects, and the extensive months of time put into building them and making them solid and safe.

But soon, technology will change everything; making everything faster than you ever thought possible.

A team of engineers is setting up to construct a bridge over an undisclosed water canal in Amsterdam. But this time, it won't be built with a massive construction crew and cranes. Instead, a robotic 3D printer and some skilled craftsmen will take care of all of the work necessary to make a usable bridge.

This is an artist's rendition of what the bridge-building project might look like.

The project is being nicknamed the MX3D Bridge and is set to go up in September of this year. The 3D printer will make the bridge out of steel and the process by which it happens is jaw-droppingly cool.

Instead of a basic 3D printer, this project is actually utilizing a super awesome 6-axis robotic arm that welds together strands of molten metal in a fast-setting manner. You can see in the video below that it's much like drawing with steel in mid-air:



The lead designer behind the project, Joris Laarman, is excited to see what 3D printing technology can do on a larger-scale:

"I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in ‘the new craft,'" Laarman says. "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."

It has taken a lot of trial and error to get to this point, but the team has managed to make a robotic 3D printer capable of completing the job.

Starting with this small bridge project, it will be interesting to see how the robotic 3D printing industry will revolutionize the way construction is performed all around the world in the various settings the Earth has to offer.

It is at this time that we just have to ask, what isn't 3D printing capable of making?

Source: MX3D

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
How to Enable Computers to Solve Increasingly Complex Problems? Make Them "Think" Like a Metal
JUN 24, 2020
How to Enable Computers to Solve Increasingly Complex Problems? Make Them "Think" Like a Metal
In metal works, the term annealing refers to a treatment with heat that increases the elasticity of a metal material. Si ...
JUN 23, 2020
Infographics
Frighteningly Fast: 5G by the Numbers
JUN 23, 2020
Frighteningly Fast: 5G by the Numbers
5G is the fifth-generation technology for cellular networks and will likely be the successor to the 4G (fourth-generatio ...
JUL 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
JUL 02, 2020
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
Carbon is known for its plentiful allotropes, such as the naturally existing graphite and diamond, as well as synthetic ...
AUG 07, 2020
Technology
Origami Microbots
AUG 07, 2020
Origami Microbots
Using the principles of origami can unlock the power of tiny robots, enhance speed, and control in machinery.  &quo ...
OCT 11, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Using Terahertz Waves to Control Gene Expression
OCT 11, 2020
Using Terahertz Waves to Control Gene Expression
Terahertz waves sit in the far infrared/microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and can be generated by power ...
NOV 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
Taking a Virtual Walk in a Forest Altered by Climate Change
NOV 17, 2020
Taking a Virtual Walk in a Forest Altered by Climate Change
For some people, it's easier to grasp the magnitude of a problem once it can be visualized.
Loading Comments...