MX3D, a design and engineering firm located in Amsterdam, is working on new and innovative ways to use robotic 3D printers to autonomously print with exotic materials. A unique feature of their process is that the robots are multi-axis and can build some projects without additional supporting structures. They build their own support as part of the construction process.
MX3D has proposed to build a Joris Laarman-designed pedestrian bridge from molten steel and resins that will cross one of the many canals in Amsterdam as a way to showcase their abilities. DeZeen, a design, architecture and interiors website, says that the bridge will be printed by two multi-axis directional printing robots usually used in auto manufacturing to autonomously print the bridge by starting on opposite sides of the canal and building towards each other until the bridge is complete.
The construction should begin September of this year, and when completed, will illustrate a next generation of possibilities for the use of the 3D printing process. The entire process will be visible online, and their public sponsors will create a visitor’s center during the construction process.
The Laarman labs have already printed a small prototype as well as a number of sculptures and furniture using the same robotic process.
One thing that I found of interest in looking at the company is that their partners are heavyweights like AirLiquide, Autodesk, Heymans, ABB and Lenovo. This is but one more step in the development and use of additive 3D printing that is going to have a major impact on the construction industry, design, and our lives.