6-Axis Robot Arm 3D Prints A Metal Bridge

Do you remember the MX3D metal printing robot? It’s now capable of 3D printing a metal bridge. Here’s the news release, but it’s in Dutch (translated).

Over one year ago we covered the beginning of the MX3D project, which was a rather ambitious foray into 3D printing in metal with a industrial six-axis ABB robot arm. They had previously done a version using resin (MX3D Resin Printer), but then upgraded the system to use a heavy duty welding machine to deposit various metals.

One year later, they’ve tuned it even more. To show it off they printed a free form standing bridge that people can actually walk across.

Now obviously, that’s not a huge bridge, but think about the possibilities! It was just a prototype. They’re planning on building a full size bridge… somewhere. We’ll let you know as soon as we find out.

As shown in the featured image, a future system could use multiple sets of these robots to build even larger more complex structures. Damn.

Oh and if you’re sad because you don’t have a spare 6-axis robot to make your own version with… you can make your own metal 3D printer using  that’ll cost under $1,500 — and no we didn’t miss a zero. It’s based off a very affordable Prusa i3, and a cheap MIG welder.

[Thanks Vogel!]

22 thoughts on “6-Axis Robot Arm 3D Prints A Metal Bridge

  1. Yeah I’ll admit when I initially heard about this a little while ago I thought they meant like a decent sized pedestrian foot bridge across some span of water. Not that it had made a 3ft ramp :P

    I guess baby steps and all.

    1. Well, they want to to exactly that – build a real pedestrian bridge. As they say on their website:

      “From September 2015 the progress of the project can be followed in our visitor center. MX3D and the City of Amsterdam will announce the exact location of the bridge soon.”

      At the moment they just have this “proof of concept” from the video, which is nice. Not thrilling, but nice. And well, with all this PR and media buzz they create it’s probably rather directed at something like dezeen magazine http://www.dezeen.com/2015/06/13/joris-laarman-3d-printed-bridge-amsterdam-canal-six-axis-robots/ than at Hackaday.

      1. now there’s a question – fixed lengths or a spool feeder and a cutter? fixed lengths have a diffferent placing schema option set, and the size of rod you’ll want for something like this might not be easily cut by something that can fit on a welder head

  2. I am sorry but any half decent welder would tell you that’s not the way you “weld” not to mention apply force on it and expect to hold…… waste of time , probably another quick cash grab.

    1. Its a prototype, they already said they want to do a new iteration before they try a real bridge, that said, your kinda right.

      They’re working with the local government to pick a spot by the way, will be in Amsterdam.

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