(Above) 3D printed bridge. Courtesy MX3D.
Printing of metallic components also features in leading-edge research, with applications more recently coming onto the market for 3D metal printers. Metal printing processes like powder bed fusion, metal binder jetting and directed energy deposition have grown significantly.
The application of 3D printing to structural components at an equivalent level to structural steel is still evolving. However, exciting prototypes have been completed such as the world’s first 3D printed bridge.