World’s First 3D-Printed Bridge Could Build Itself Because Why Not?

Jun 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm |

I don’t know about you, but I’m still fascinated by 3D printing. We’ve seen 3D printers put together houses, tools in space, instruments, and just about everything else, but this new feat will truly make a mark in human history.

MX3D, a metal printing firm in Amsterdam, plans to start construction on the world’s first self-building bridge sometime later this year. The company has mastered the art of metal printing, and has shown off their technology on smaller-scale projects, but an on-site project is their next step toward the future.

According to MX3D’s website,

“With our robots that can ‘draw’ steel structures in 3D, we will print a bridge over water in the center of Amsterdam. We research and develop groundbreaking, cost-effective robotic technology with which we can 3D print beautiful, functional objects in almost any form. The ultimate test? Printing an intricate, ornate metal bridge for a special location to show what our robots and software, engineers, craftsmen and designers can do.”

The project would most likely consist of two metal-printing robots that work their way from one bank to the other, carefully constructing the stable, practical bridge while supporting themselves along the way. Another system would be to have this process mirrored on the other side of the bank as well, with the two sides of the bridge being built simultaneously and the four bots meeting in the middle upon its completion.

Doesn’t this just blow your mind? If this project is successful, it could mark the beginning of sustainable, on-site printing and construction endeavors. This could mean the first steps of self-built homes, buildings, and even colonies should we continue to pursue missions to other planets.

See a concept video of the bridge’s construction below!

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I can’t even wrap my head around this one but it’s AWESOME.