World’s First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Opens to Public in Amsterdam

The bridge's structure was created with the help of robotic arms. It is 12 metres long, made of 4500 kg of stainless steel, and the printing took six months.


World’s First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Opens to Public in Amsterdam

The bridge's structure was carefully transported to its location across the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in Amsterdam last week.


How Do You Print a Bridge?

It took four years to design and manufacture the bridge. It was co-developed by Imperial University London and printed by Dutch company MX3D, specialising in 3D metal printing tools.


The robots that made the bridge used welding torches to build the structure layer by layer.



Several sensors are attached to the bridge. They are used to monitor movements, temperatures and vibrations of the structure as people walk across it.


They will also track how weather changes affect the structure.


This data is then sent to a digital model of the bridge.



What's Next?

Engineers will use the digital model on the computer to see how the bridge is performing and decide if any changes or maintenance are needed.



They will also use everything they have learned from this model for future 3D steel designs. They can see what worked well and what did not and apply that to more complicated construction projects.



Mark Girolami of Cambridge University, working on this digital model, said that sometimes problems with bridges are discovered too late. With this digital model, which provides constant data feedback, problems can be detected more quickly.


World’s First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge

The bridge was unveiled by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who used a robotic arm equipped with scissors to cut the ribbon.


The bridge is now open to pedestrians and cyclists.



 

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