By Dan Kedmey (Time, 6-13 Jun 2015)
Dutch firm MX3D recently partnered with software giant Autodesk to build a machine that can “print” bridges in midair. Its first test will be over an Amsterdam canal in 2017. Here is how it will work:
- The bot extrudes cords of molten steel in a pattern and waits for them to cool before moving ahead–like a train making its own tracks.
- Along the way, software continuously monitors for engineering errors and instructs the bot to correct course if necessary.
- When the 24-ft. (7 m.) bridge is done (it’s expected to take 2 months), it will support foot traffic and feature intricate designs.