3D Printing a Bridge
Lately, 3D printing has been achieving impressive feats—from simple household items to jet engines. Now, Dutch researchers from MX3D intend to take 3D printing to the next level by building a metal bridge in central Amsterdam. MX3D still hasn't decided whether to print the bridge live on location, or do it elsewhere and relocate it. If they will do it on location, they have to consider safety and security as the area is typically very populated. They also have to consider the size and design of the bridge which they expect to span 10 meters. Because this project will take place outdoors, it needs to be able to compensate for a range of errors, such as temperature fluxes, which may expand the metal. Consequently, the program will need to have real-time feedback loops and adapt in real-time without human intervention.
MX3D is backed by software company Autodesk, which is providing the technology and expertise to the MX3D team from conceptualization through production. Autodesk will also provid its Dynamo platform, an open source visual programming environment that serves as a platform for parametric control of various design tools, as well as advanced robot simulation and control.