A Dutch startup plans to build the world’s first 3D printed bridge across an Amsterdam canal. The pedestrian bridge will be built out of steel using an industrial robot arm with a welding machine attached to it, which has the ability to print any structure out of metals. The robot is equipped to detect errors that may come up and correct them in real time and also has special features that allow it to use the edges of the bridge as support, moving along as it prints. Not only will the new bridge be functional and durable, but it will have an intricate form designed by Dutch designer Joris Laarman.
The exact location of the bridge is not yet known but a visitors center will open up in September 2015 in Amsterdam. The team hopes to see the 3D printed bridge a reality in 2017, with the printing process taking about 2 months.
The 3D printed bridge is a big test for the future of this technology. Should the project succeed, this will be a first step towards seeing the technique used in infinite constructions, especially those involving dangerous tasks such as on high buildings.