Print me a (3D) bridge
Dutch robotic additive manufacturing outfit MX3D has completed the world’s largest 3D printing of a steel bridge. The 12.5m by 6.3m construction is composed of 4,500 kg of stainless steel and took six months to put together.
MX3D used four of its MX3D-Metal robots to construct the bridge with the machines’ welding arms laying down one spot of molten metal at a time to create columns. The structure was not made onsite where it will span Amsterdam’s Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal as the location has a lot of footfall – MX3D had initially hoped the robots could build their across the waterway.
“It’s too busy a place to print,” the company says. “There are a lot of pedestrians walking by every day so it would be hard to get a permit for it. Also, you’ll need 24/7 surveillance at the printing site to protect the robots.”
The structure is now undergoing testing and it is expected that the bridge will be put in place over the canal sometime next year.