3D-printed steel bridge to be built in mid air

June 16, 2015 //By Rich Pell
3D-printed steel bridge to be built in mid air
A 3D-printing R&D startup is planning to use robotics technology to 3D print a steel pedestrian bridge in mid air over a canal in Amsterdam without using any support structures.

The company, MX3D (Amsterdam, Netherlands), develops digital design and manufacturing technology that enables 3D printing of metals and resins in mid air. With the bridge project they hope to demonstrate how this technology is feasible for constructing large scale, functional objects made of durable materials.

The building of the bridge will be fully automated, with the construction beginning on one bank and gradually branching itself over to the other side. The printing will be done with the help of six-axis industrial robots, which will heat up the raw steel composite material to about 2,732 ° F (1,500 ° C) before welding the structure together - "drop by drop."

MX3D is collaborating in the project with 3D design software company Autodesk and construction firm Heijmans, among others. The bridge will be designed using new Autodesk software designed specifically for this printing technology.

The exact location of the bridge is planned to be announced in September, along with the opening of a visitor center where people will be able to follow the progress of the project. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2017 and take approximately two months.

MX3D Bridge project

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