World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge

  • World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge was opened to the public in Amsterdam recently. It was developed by MX3D, a Dutch robotics company, in collaboration with a consortium of experts, and represents a major milestone for 3D-printing technology.
  • After four years in development, the bridge was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. It was installed over one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam’s city centre – the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
  • The 12-metre-long steel structure will be a ‘living laboratory’ that will capture and transmit data on its health in real-time to show how it changes over its lifespan. The smart sensor network was designed and installed by a team from ‘The Alan Turing Institute’.
  • The sensors attached to the structure will gather data on air quality, temperature, strain, displacement and vibration. The data will be used by the bridge’s ‘digital twin’, a computer model that will emulate the actual bridge in real-time, to improve accuracy over time. The computer model will help understand how a full-scale 3D-printed steel structure works in real-world.