Robots Help Build a Basilica

The Sagrada Familia is an incredible structure which has been in progress for 138 years. Finally, now that technology has caught up with the architect’s idea, it might be nearing completion.

The architect, Antoni Gaudi, claimed that God was his client for this work. On a more prosaic level, the clients were a group of monks in the Josephites order. They wanted a small parish church at the edge of Barcelona, to be dedicated to the Holy Family.

Gaudi had other ideas. Unfortunately, many of his ideas could not be drawn or even created as 3-D models. Gaudi died in 1926, and a decade later the Spanish Civil War brought destruction to the unfinished basilica. Many of his drawings and models — the ones that were possible — were destroyed.

Robots to the rescue

A New Zealander named Mark Burry picked up the threads and thought, in 1979, that a computer might help.

He was right. Computers were able to do the complex math that lay between Gaudi’sideas and workable designs.

Later on, the CNC machine also helped. Once a CNC machine that could cut stone was created, it was possible to build some of the elements that had stumped people for moire than a century.

Robotic tools were a completely new idea in construction in the 1980s, and the basilica became the proving ground for their use. They sped the process up so much that it is now expected that the basilica could be completed in 2026.

A new video shows how it will look. Four million visitors came to see the unfinished basilica each year before the pandemic, and many more are expected to come once travel is possible again.

As far as we know, Rexroth motion control systems have not been used in the construction of the Sagrada Familia. However, it its unusual to visit any facility using motion control systems without seeing a Rexroth drive or servo. Rexroth motion control systems have been used in the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower, and the canals of Venice. Maybe they’ve helped out the CNC machines in Barcelona.

If not, they are still some of the best motion control systems on the planet. If you need factory repair or reman for your Rexroth electric motion control systems, we can help. Call today for assistance.

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