New York, while still a spring chicken compared to many European cities, is getting pretty old. From our century-old subway system, to our imminently collapsing bridges, New York is going to have to begin restoring its infrastructure, even as it's battered by a more hostile climate. One of the unseen perils is the support of our waterfront: the wood and steel columns that support the piers that ring our coastline are beginning to degrade.

Today Gizmodo has an outstanding look inside a possible plan to save our collapsing waterfront, all with the help of 3D printing.

Last year, the New York City Economic Development Corporation created a contest to create a new way to support the waterfront while saving the city billions of dollars. The winner, the Italian 3D printing company D-Shape, put forth the idea that the old columns could be reinforced with 3D-printed concrete that would be specifically made for each support. Essentially, each support would be digitally mapped, and its weaknesses would be reinforced by concrete, instead of completely replaced.

The process for reinforcing the supports would look like this:


Fingers crossed this works, or y'know, get ready for jet skis, Kevin Costner with gills, and an undead Dennis Hopper.