Recently, we talked about MX3D getting all giant metal 3d printing robot on us and printing the 3D structures of the future. If you’re familiar with the company, you know they’ve been busy the last few years on a mission to build the first functional 3D printed bridge across the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the De Wallen (red light) district of Amsterdam. They’ve now completed the first section at the MX3D warehouse and it’s now you’ll start to get a better realization of just how massive the 12 meter bridge will be.
Prior to the bridge they’ve created a number of proof-of-concept installations from dragon benches to decorative facades with the bridge itself a functional proof-of-concept for larger structures.
The company created intelligent software that transforms a robot and a welding machine into a large scale printer, enabling 3D printing of metals on an architectural scale. The technique greatly extends the form freedom for architects and engineers and has huge potential to reduce the amount of material needed to make large structures.
The bridge has gone through several design updates as safety and material are understood better, and technical capabilities improved. The final design by Joris Laarman Lab is a drastic contrast to the first iteration and testament to how far the project has come.
The bridge is being completed in collaboration with Autodesk and Heijmans, and supported by Lenovo, ABB Robotics and Air Liquide and sponsored by STV, Oerlikon and Plymovent with public support from TU Delft, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Studies and the Municipality of Amsterdam. That’s A LOT of interested parties.
Currently they’re on schedule to complete the bridge in early 2018 after a canal reinforcement renovation. Those in Amsterdam can also stop by to visit the MX3D visitor center to learn more about the process and to support and see the bridge building progress.