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3D-Printed Steel Bridge Ready to Be Installed

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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The world’s first 3D-printed metal pedestrian bridge, currently on display at Dutch Design Week until Oct. 28, is ready for installation in Amsterdam, according to reports. Next, the structural integrity of the span must be tested.

The pedestrian-cyclist bridge, designed by Joris Larmaan Lab with structural engineering help from Arup, is 6.3 meters (just over 20 feet) wide, MX3D says, and will be installed over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, a well-known Amsterdam canal. Steelmaker ArcelorMittal provided metallurgical guidance on the project.

3D-Printed Steel Bridge

The 12.5-meter-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. The full span was completed in April. The bridge was also made with a steel deck to add additional stability.

Multi-axis industrial robots and specific MX3D software informed and guided four machines in printing the bridge. The design currently weights 4,500 kilograms (roughly 9,920 pounds) and uses 1,100 kilometers of wire. In light of this new kind of construction, a new safety standard was developed, for which the bridge manufacturer worked with Amsterdam officials, while also collaborating with partners from the Alan Turing Institute. The bridge was also equipped with sensors to read bridge traffic and structural integrity.

“I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in ‘the new craft,” said designer Joris Laarman back when the project was first announced.

“This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form. The symbolism of the bridge is a beautiful metaphor to connect the technology of the future with the old city, in a way that brings out the best of both worlds.”

Editor's Note: Corrected a misspelling.


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

Comment from Gunnar Ackx, (10/24/2018, 1:50 AM)

Pretty amazing to see what's possible with this new technology :-0 Not sure how one can use '1100 kilometers of water' though? Unless that's new technology as well ;-)

Comment from john schultz, (10/24/2018, 8:35 AM)

The design currently weights 4,500 kilograms (roughly 9,920 pounds) and uses 1,100 kilometers of water How does it use 1100 km of water?

Comment from Laura Kemmerer, (10/24/2018, 8:45 AM)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! The issue has been corrected. Thank you for your sharp eyes, and thanks for reading!

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