HomeArchitectureThe World's First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Unveiled in Amsterdam

The World’s First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Unveiled in Amsterdam

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Red-Light District is now home to the first 3D printed steel bridge. Arup oversaw the multi-award-winning bridge as the principal engineer. Dutch designer and artist Joris Laarman took charge of designing the bridge.

They used a boat to convey the bridge via the city’s canals before installing it across the city. The project, which began in 2015, spans the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the Red Light District. It started when a Dutch business wanted to manufacture a metal bridge. They suggested using their breakthrough large-scale, robotic 3D printing technology for the project.

The idea was to provide an example of the use of digital tools in building. Máxima, the Queen of the Netherlands, unveiled MX3D‘s smart bridge in the city center of Amsterdam on July 15, 2021. Red Light District, Amsterdam’s oldest quarter, now has its first 3D-printed steel bridge.

Arup and Joris Laarman lab have worked together to design the bridge for several years. This led to its installation this year. The designers installed an advanced sensor network on the steel bridge. It also serves as a “living laboratory” for an innovative research project.

The city will use data streams from the bridge to analyze the function of IoT technologies. This includes its role in the built environment.

It’s composed of many sensors. A team from The Alan Turing Institute developed the smart sensor system. Imperial College London researchers use the sensors for different purposes. One of its use is to determine how the structure changes during usage in real-time.

The data will answer queries about the long-term term behavior of 3D-printed steel. It will also determine its possible use in future construction projects. The 3D-printed steel bridge is set to attract a new set of audience to the city’s Red Light District.

© Thijs Wolzak

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