Queen Máxima unveiled the 3D-printed steel bridge , Source: City of Amsterdam

Amsterdam unveils world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge

Amsterdam unveils world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge

It was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands on 15 July

In recent years, 3D printing has gained popularity in the fields of construction and architecture. Many have experimented with this new technology and companies have since begun producing 3D-printed structures. Taking a case in point, the capital of the Netherlands has made history with the installation of what it reports to be the world’s first 3D-printed bridge made entirely of steel.

On Thursday 15 July, Queen Máxima officially opened the pedestrian bridge which is located on the quays of the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. The 3D-printed structure links the past and the present as the futuristic, contemporary bridge is found above one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam’s red-light district.

A smart and multi-award-winning structure

To reiterate, the 3D-printed bridge is made entirely of stainless steel and weighs over 6,000 kilograms. In addition to this, it has several built-in sensors that allow it to indicate when it needs to be repaired and to record the number of pedestrians. Taking this into account, the smart bridge is seen as a living laboratory that will allow researchers and the City of Amsterdam to use data to explore the role of Internet of Things (IoT) systems in the urban environment.

According to MX3D, the Dutch robotics company which designed the structure, the project began in 2015 when the organisation proposed printing a metal bridge with innovative large-scale robotic 3D printing technology. At the time, MX3D’s aim was to illustrate how digital tools can be used in architecture.

In a press release, the City of Amsterdam reported that the 3D-printed steel bridge was first exhibited at the Dutch Design Week Eindhoven in October 2018. There, it won multiple awards including the Dutch Design Award. What is more, the project’s team was bestowed the Starts Prize 2018 from the European Commission.

The impressive structure will remain in the city centre for the next two years while the old bridge is being restored.

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