23 Jun 2015 |
World innovation news |
Information and Communications Technologies
The first 3D Printed Steel Bridge
Substance ÉTS has covered some remarkable 3d printing project as cars , houses and Jet Engine. Nevertheless the project to build a steel bridge with 3D printing directly across a canal is an exceptional performance.
The robots will print a load-bearing metal structure across the canal that will support their own weight as they work. They will also print rails-supports to move with the structure as it is being build.
MX3D developed these six-axis industrial robots with 3D tools capable of printing complex geometric forms in steel. The team will use specially-designed arms that heat up the metal to 1,500° C (2,732° F) before welding the structure.
“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, explains Tim Geurtjens, CTO of MX3D. “Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique.”
The video below provides the outline of the project and the technology used.
This future pedestrian bridge is created by the designer Jori Laarman who sustains that: “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 is expected to be announced shortly by the city of Amsterdam. Meanwhile, from September 2015, MX3D will open a visitor center where people can follow the progress of the robots.