Last week, the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge opened in Amsterdam, an innovative project led by Dutch company MX3D. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands led the unveiling and pressed a button that caused a robot to cut the ribbon from the bridge, reports Aleksandar Furtula of the Associated Press News Agency (AP). The bridge spans one of the oldest canals in the city and is located in a red-light district center.
The bridge was developed by Imperial College London and printed by the Dutch company MX3D, which specializes in 3D metal printing tools. The first 3D-printed steel bridge was created by a robotic arm armed with a welding torch to build the structure of the bridge layer by layer of 4,500 kilograms of stainless steel. The bridge was printed using a robotic arm and a wireless sensor network connected to a digital twin computer model to monitor its performance in real-time.
Six years after the start of the project, a 12-meter pedestrian bridge designed by Joris Laarman and built by the Dutch robotics firm MX3D opened in Amsterdam. The bridge spans the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s red-light district. The bridge, known as the Mx3D Bridge, was designed by the Dutch studio Joris De Laarmans Lab in collaboration with MX3d Technologies, a company founded by Laarm and the engineering firm ARUP.
While Venice’s first 3D-printed concrete pedestrian bridge without reinforcement and mortar was built without reinforcement and mortar, the canal city of Amsterdam was not surpassed with the unveiling of the world’s first 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge. Oudezijds 40-foot Bridge over the Achterburgwal Canal was built by the 3D metal printing technology MX3D, using an additive wire manufacturing process combined with advanced robot welding similar to the red light district in the city. Announced in 2015, the long-awaited project was inaugurated on July 15 on the canal in the city’s red-light district. The ceremony was attended by Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands who assisted with ribbon cutting and robots.
The finished bridge was unveiled at the Dutch Design Week in October 2018 by Joris Laarman from Lab Arup, who acted as lead engineer. After its completion, the bridge was awarded a Dutch design prize in the “Design Research” category. The bridge was completed at the end of 2018 in the workshop of Laarmans, but only opened on Thursday and replaces a partially constructed bridge over the canal in the red light district of Amsterdam with the new bridge.
By 2023, when the bridge is refurbished, it will be in its place. According to Imperial, the bridge will be a “living laboratory” thanks to a vast network of sensors installed that will allow engineers to monitor and analyze the performance of the structure and the handling of pedestrian traffic. Using the 3D printed bridge and its sensor network at Imperial College London, researchers can measure, monitor, and analyze the bridge’s performance, pedestrian and traffic management.
The digital model of the bridge will allow engineers to study the properties of unique material and to use machine learning to detect changes in data. Researchers from Imperial College London will use real-time data on the performance of the flyover to analyze how the 40ft bridge reacts every time pedestrians interact with it.
The world’s first 3D printed steel pedestrian bridge has been launched in Amsterdam and is equipped with the state of the art sensors that measure how it handles pedestrian traffic in real-time. MX3D completed its ambitious plan to design the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. The sensor-laden bridge is printed by four robots in just six months – and opens a new era in additive manufacturing.
The first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge in the country, which is in the pipeline since 2015, was manufactured with Dutch 3D printing technology company MX3D Signature Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAAM ) in the form of a robotic arm ( DED ) – based on direct energy deposition – – delivery – platform.