Engineering a Bridge that Designs and Builds Itself

Industrialized Construction

This collaborative research project between Autodesk Research and Dar reimagines the design and manufacture process of large civil engineering structures. The goal is to move from legacy blueprint construction processes to an AI-driven workflow, using Dar’s legacy data and expertise as a foundation. The primary objective is the development of an additive manufacturing process, using a robotic arm capable of printing “smart materials” – a combination of polymer-based pellets and embedded sensors. Autodesk Research demonstrated this new workflow by 3D printing a bridge with a 2m span in the Autodesk Technology Centre in Birmingham, then further validated the process with a longer 5m bridge in the Autodesk Technology Center in Boston

“We are proving our workflows for 3D-printing on a large scale, and that could apply to a broad range of industries and materials.”

Peter Storey

Research Engineer, Autodesk Research

What if the bridges of tomorrow were able to build themselves using past experience and knowledge of their surroundings? Together with architecture, engineering, and construction consultancy Dar, the Autodesk Research team imagined what it would take for a robot to 3D print its own infrastructure, using recycled materials and without any human input.

Learn more in the Dar Smart Bridge blog series:

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