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3-D Printed Bridge Reaches Milestone

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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The 3-D printed steel bridge planned for central Amsterdam is a step closer to completion as manufacturer MX3D announced this week that the full span of the bridge has been finished by four robotic machines at its nearby workshop.

The 12.5-meter-long (41-foot-long) stainless-steel span took six months to craft, according to MX3D. The firm first announced the bridge project in 2015 and revised its design between 2016 and 2017 after initial testing.

Last March, construction on some parts of the bridge, which would later be assembled, began; in August, MX3D released a video depicting parts created by its robots horizontally. Later in the fall, the firm unveiled its final plans and revealed that two meters of the span had already been created by its robot team, with a robot having moved onto the span itself to continue printing as part of the firm’s multi-axis approach.

The pedestrian-cyclist bridge, designed by Joris Larmaan Lab with structural engineering help from Arup, is 6.3 meters wide, MX3D says, and is projected to be moved and installed next year over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, an Amsterdam canal. Steelmaker ArcelorMittal provided metallurgical guidance on the project.

With the main span complete, the company will begin load testing while ornamental components are still being printed; the entire structure is likely to be finished later this year.

Besides serving as a prototype for future 3-D printed infrastructure projects, the makers say the bridge will serve as a “living laboratory,” equipped with sensors that will monitor the structure and enable engineers to make a “digital twin” that will represent the data gleaned from the actual bridge. The “digital twin” will enable the team to better understand the structure’s behavior, ensuring the safety of the bridge itself and providing guidance for similar projects in the future.


Tagged categories: 3D printing; Bridges; Construction; EU; Europe; Program/Project Management; Stainless steel

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