London, June 15 (IANS) Will you dare to cross a deep canal on a “printed” bridge? You may get a chance to try that soon.
A 3D printing company based in Amsterdam has developed a revolutionary robotic 3D printer that can “draw” structures in the air. The developers are now planning to build a bridge over a canal in the city, CNET reported.
“We research and develop ground-breaking, cost-effective robotic technology with which we can 3D print beautiful, functional objects in almost any form,” wrote the firm MX3D on the project web page.
“Printing an intricate, ornate metal bridge for a special location to show what our robots and software, engineers, craftsmen and designers can do.”
The bridge will be designed by artist and designer Joris Laarman, who helped develop the robotic 3D printer that combined the MX3D-Resin with a welder to be able to “draw” fast-setting metal structures.
In this technique, small increments of molten metal are welded to the existing structure, creating lines of steel and the same would be used to print the bridge out of steel.
By printing multiple lines, the printer will be able to create a strong, complex structure that spans the canal — printing its own supports along the way so that it can operate autonomously.
“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,” Laarman was quoted as saying.
The construction of the bridge is scheduled to begin in September this year.