MX3D, a Dutch start-up researching and developing robotic 3D printing technology, will 3D print a fully functional steel bridge over one of Amsterdam’s many canals.
June 15, 2015: In collaboration with construction service company Heijmans, Autodesk and other companies, the MX3D Metal multiple axis 3D printing robot is going to create a bridge designed by Joris Laarman. The robotic device can print with metals such as steel, stainless stelle, aluminium, bronze or copper without the need for support structures. MX3D Metal is able to print lines in mid air by adding small amounts of molten metal at a time.
“What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘Printing Outside the box’ principle,” explains Tim Geurtjens, CTO of MX3D. “By printing with 6-axis industrial robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique.”
The City of Amsterdam and MX3D will announce the exact location of the bridge shortly, with the building process to start in September 2015.
Designer Joris Laarman: “I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in “the new craft”. 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.”
October 19, 2015: Update – Construction begins
A ribbon cutting ceremony last Friday officially kicked-off construction works for MX3D’s bridge. Initially planned to take place on site, 3D printing will now take place at the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal due to immense pedestrian traffic at the planned location. Over the next three to four month, locals and tourists will be able to observe the printing progress.