Amsterdam's 3D-Printed Steel Bridge To Be 'Drawn' Mid-Air By Robots

Amsterdam is getting its own 3D-printed steel bridge that will be partly suspended in mid-air, once again proving that nothing is off limits in the world of 3D-printing.

Behind the bold attempt is MX3D, an R&D startup that aim to 'print' the complicated and 'intricate' structure over one of the city's canals using robots to 'draw' the bridge into being.

The attempt is particularly impressive as the steel spewing bots will print the bridge on location, which is yet to be disclosed.

If all goes to plan, the machines will begin printing on one side of the canal, creating rail supports to slide on and literally draw the mid-section of the bridge into being as it makes its way to the other side.

MX3D say the technology at the forefront of this project uses the ‘Printing Outside the box’ principle, essentially allowing curved shapes to be 'printed' in mid-air.

Collaborators including construction firm Heijmans and software company Autodesk, will use what are known as 6-axis industrial robots that will heat up the metal to 1,500 degrees Celsius and wield it into shape.

Joris Laarman a designer working on the bridge said:

“ 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."

If successful, Amsterdam's engineering feat will remove the restrictions of shape and size that currently limit the applications of 3D-printing.