Want a peek into the future? Watch these robots 3D print concrete structures

3D printing is one of the most exciting revolutions to hit manufacturing in decades, but it’s not without its limitations. Perhaps the biggest of these is the fact that, unless you create an unusually large 3D printer or break your model up into a whole lot of pieces, it’s difficult to create especially large 3D-printed objects. Fortunately, researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have come up with a neat fix to the problem — and like all the best solutions, it involves a pair of robot arms.

In a new video demo, shown above, the researchers showcased how robots can build objects of virtually any size by moving around to carry out the printing. The demonstration employed off-the-shelf components, augmented by a nozzle, couplings, printing material and — perhaps most importantly — special guidance software developed at the university. It hints at a future in which whole teams of moving robots could collaborate to build structures.