The crew at R&D organization MX3D had a brilliant idea: What if we could get a 6-axis robot arm to squirt molten steel, through a nozzle that welded it as it came out?
Then they actually got it to work. Because the arm can move in any direction, you can do crazy stuff like this:
To display the technology to the public, this autumn MX3D is going to "print" a footbridge in their home base of Amsterdam. But they're not going to print the bridge in their facility and transport it to the site. Instead, the idea is that multiple robots will be used to print their way across a canal, creating their own support structure beneath them as they go; at the end, a usable footbridge will be left behind.
Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional)
A short animation in the video below suggests the team will use robots on opposite banks that then meet up in the middle, and one press outlet has reported this is the case, but I can't find any actual evidence of this on the team's project page. In fact, the rendering directly above would suggest otherwise.
The bridge will be designed by Joris Laarman using Autodesk software (see form concepts below). And the project is scheduled to break ground—er, break air—this September.
Enter a caption (optional)