World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge to be erected by robotics firm, contractor (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Updated Jul 17, 2015

It seems like something out of science fiction: Robotic arms stretched over a canal creating a bridge seemingly out of nothing at all.

In actuality, the robots are advanced 3D printing tools that a company in the Netherlands is planning to use to print a bridge. The first 3D printed bridge in the world.

MX3D, a 3D-printing robotics company, has teamed up with American software company Autodesk and Dutch construction company Heijmans to help make the design of MX3D’s Joris Laarman a reality. The company says it wants to show the world what its technology and team can accomplish

The project won’t get underway until September, but renderings on the company’s website show the robotic arms stretching out past a complex and layered bridge. Four of the arms will be creating the steel bridge using the tipped end that produces a molten metal of 2,700 degrees.

“I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in ‘the new craft,'” Laarman said. “This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form. The symbolism of the bridge is a beautiful metaphor to connect the technology of the future with the old city, in a way that brings out the best of both worlds.”