The world’s first 3D printed bridge

That’s 4,500 kilograms of stainless steel. A real feat. It’s the world’s first 3D printed bridge. It’s designed and manufactured to withstand the passage of people. It has great stability and resistance. In total, it is 12 meters long.

The world's first 3D printed bridge is a new attraction in the Netherlands.
The world’s first 3D printed bridge is a new attraction in the Netherlands.
Inaugurated by the Queen

The bridge has been inaugurated this month by the Queen of the Netherlands. And it can now be visited in Amsterdam’s touristy Red Light District. An eye-catching, avant-garde steel bridge. It is very easy to catch the eye. It contrasts with the other footbridges that allow you to cross the many canals of the Dutch capital.
The project was started in 2015. Finally, it was concluded with its placement. The bridge took 6 months to print. And it could be built thanks to four industrial robots.

Monitoring the bridge

The structure was transported to its location over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. These days it can be visited freely. In addition to pedestrians, cyclists can also cross it.
The company MX3D has been in charge of the design and construction process. According to Archpaper, the bridge will be maintained for at least two years. It will be while the footbridge that previously crossed the canal is being renovated.
This time will be used by those in charge to study its resistance. They will monitor its condition after months of use. Engineers from Imperial College London and the Alan Turing Institute will be in charge of monitoring it.

The installation of the bridge was a much celebrated event.
The installation of the bridge was a much celebrated event.
Architectural landmark

The analyzed data will be transferred to a digital twin. It will analyze in real time its state. As it is 3D printed, you have a very concrete vision of how it is built.
“It’s interesting one of the things we found. The strength characteristics depend on the orientation of the print. The baseline strength was what you would expect from rolled steel. And it actually increased in some directions,” explains Mark Girolami. He works with the University of Cambridge and is a contributor to the project.

Tourist attraction

“Nothing like this has ever been built before. It’s a fairly strong 3D printed metal structure. Strong enough to handle foot traffic,” explains Leroy Gardner, a professor at Imperial College.
“This bridge may attract a new type of visitor. It would be one that is more interested in architecture and design. This will help change the way the neighbourhood is perceived,” explains Micha Mos. He is a city councillor in Amsterdam. This eye-catching bridge will serve as a study of the architecture and strength of this type of construction. In addition, the world’s first 3D printed bridge gives the city a new attraction.

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