3D Printing

3D robot prints a bridge in steel

15th June 2015
Jordan Mulcare

With robots that 3D 'draw' in steel, MX3D will print a bridge over the water in the centre of Amsterdam. The company researches and develops groundbreaking, cost-effective robotic 3D printing technology. Printing an intricate, ornate metal bridge for a special location is the ultimate test for robots and software, engineers, craftsmen and designers. The bridge by designer Joris Laarman will be ready in 2017.

The design process using the recent autodesk software is a piece of research in itself, synchronised with the technical development and taking into account the location. The project is a collaboration between MX3D, software giant Autodesk, construction company Heijmans and many others.

The company equips multi-axis industrial robots with 3D printing tools and develops software so that the robots print metals, plastics and combinations of materials in virtually any format. From large to small construction, with this technique the company can 3D print strong, complex structures of durable material. The latest technique is cost-effective and scalable, compared to other 3D printing methods, and offers creative robot production solutions for art, construction and more.

MX3D’s engineers, craftsmen and software experts bring together digital technology, robotics and traditional industrial production in the bridge project.

“What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘Printing Outside the box’ principle. By printing with 6-axis industrial robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique,” says Tim Geurtjens, CTO, MX3D.

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