3D printed steel bridge over water in Amsterdam.
Netherlands-based R&D startup, MX3D is set to 3D print a steel bridge over water in the centre of Amsterdam.
The bridge will be designed by Joris Laarman, the designer, artist and businessman behind MX3D’s support-free metal 3D printing technology, in collaboration with Autodesk and construction company Heijmans.
Working on its “Printing outside the box” principle, the team plans to “draw” the complex and intricate structure in mid-air over one of the city’s canals using 6-axis industrial 3D printing robots. Printing will begin on one side of the water and rail supports will be used to construct the bridge so it joins with the other side.
Tim Geurtjens, CTO MX3D, said: “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.”
MX3D 6-axis industrial robot.
Joris Laarman, designer, added: “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 exact location of the bridge has not yet been disclosed but from September 2015, the progress of the project can be followed from MX3D’s visitor centre.