3D printed bridge netherlands

Long-awaited 3D-printed stainless steel bridge opens in Amsterdam

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A 12-metre 3D-printed pedestrian bridge designed by Joris Laarman and built by Dutch robotics company MX3D has opened in Amsterdam six years after the project was launched.

The bridge, which was fabricated from stainless steel rods by six-axis robotic arms equipped with welding gear, spans the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam's Red Light District.

Top: MX3D Bridge is located in the Red Light District. Above: it was 3D-printed from stainless steel

Named MX3D Bridge, it was designed by Dutch studio Joris Laarman Lab in collaboration with MX3D, a technology company co-founded by Laarman, and engineering firm Arup.

The structure used 4,500 kilograms of stainless steel, which was 3D-printed by robots in a factory over a period of six months before been craned into position over the canal this year.

Its curving S-shaped form and balustrades with lattice-style perforations were designed using parametric modelling software.

The bridge was constructed using robotic printers. Photo is by Adriaan de Groot

The team behind the bridge claimed the technique showed how 3D-printing technology can lead to more efficient structures that use less material.

"This robotic technology finally allows larger optimized designs to be 3D-printed in metal," said MX3D co-founder Gijs van der Velden.

"This causes significant weight reduction and reduced impact for parts manufactured in the tooling, oil and gas and construction industries."

It has perforated balustrades. Photo is by Jande Groen

The technique can lead to more sustainable structures, the team claimed. "The industry is facing a huge challenge in becoming carbon-neutral in 2050," said Arup structural engineer Stijn Joosten.

"By stepping up our game and the will to make a change as designers and engineers, we can bring the necessary innovation to make a difference in tomorrow's built environment. "

Joris Laarman's canal bridge in Amsterdam could take 3D printing "to a higher level"

However, architect Philip Oldfield calculated that the stainless steel used in the structure has 27.7 tonnes of embodied carbon.

"Stainless steel has an embodied carbon of 6.15kgCO2/kg," tweeted Oldfield, who is head of the art, design and architecture school at the University of New South Wales in Australia. "This bridge then has an #embodiedcarbon of at least 27.7 tonnes of CO2 to span a few metres."

The bridge was fitted with sensors. Photo is by Thijs Wolzak

The Alan Turing Institute and Arup fitted the structure with a network of sensors that allows the bridge to collect data and build a digital twin to keep track of its performance and health.

The digital twin will monitor corrosion, load changes, environmental conditions and pedestrian use in efforts to further data-centric design.

It was made from 4,500 kilograms of stainless steel. Photo is by Thijs Wolzak

Laarman had the idea for the bridge after combining robotic arms with welding machines to create a machine capable of printing furniture. "By adding small amounts of molten metal at a time, we are able to print lines in mid-air," explained Laarman at the time.

The welding machine later formed the basis of MX3D, which Laarman co-founded to explore the potential for printing larger-scale objects.

The bridge has undergone multiple iterations since the project was launched in 2015, with the opening originally slated for 2017.

The original plan was to print the structure across the canal in situ, with robots working from both banks welding the bridge beneath them until they met in the middle.

The final iteration saw the bridge built in two parts at an off-site facility. Its main span was completed in April 2018 with the deck printed in October that year.

The structure was strengthened to be more in line with council regulations and to protect the structure against any potential boat collisions.

First tenants move into 3D-printed home in Eindhoven

Although this is believed to be the first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge, bridges have previously been 3D printed from other materials.  In 2017, construction company BAM Infra built what they claimed was the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge.

Photography is by Thea van den Heuvel unless stated otherwise.

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First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge | 3D-Printed Bridge Netherlands

  • The world's first 3D-printed steel bridge debuted in Amsterdam earlier this summer.
  • Using data from over a dozen sensors installed on the bridge, scientists have built a "digital twin" of the structure to monitor its performance.
  • If successful, this construction method could prove useful for infrastructure projects in the U.S.

After four long years of planning, the world's first 3D-printed steel bridge debuted in Amsterdam last month. If it stands up to the elements, the bridge could be a blueprint for fixing our own structurally deficient infrastructure in the U.S.—and we sorely need the help.

Dutch Company MX3D built the almost 40-foot-long bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the city's Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. It relied on four robots, fit with welding torches, to 3D-print the structure. To do it, the machines laid out 10,000 pounds of steel, heated to 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit, in an intricate layering process. The result? An award-winning design, pushing the boundaries of what steel can do.

"A 3D-printed metal structure large and strong enough to handle pedestrian traffic has never been constructed before," Leroy Gardner—a professor at Imperial College London's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who was involved in the work—said in a prepared statement.

For that reason, researchers at Imperial College London have developed sophisticated computer simulations to check in on the bridge, with a focus on the structure's ability to withstand daily foot traffic and damaging weather forces.

✅ Get the Facts: Bridge Construction
  • How Engineers Build the World's Longest Bridges
  • The 30 Most Impressive Bridges in the World
  • This Is a Completely New Way to Build Bridges

If it all pans out, the U.S. should take notes. According to a 2019 report by the World Economic Forum, the United States ranks 13th in the world for quality of transportation infrastructure. Meanwhile, most bridges in the U.S. are only designed to last 50 years. As of 2021, about 4 in 10 bridges have already surpassed that life expectancy. Now, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials requires all bridges meet a 75-year design lifespan.

Engineers must maintain this infrastructure, while simultaneously building onto it, all with limited time and resources. Advancements in technology, like 3D printing, seem necessary to combat the country's deteriorating infrastructure. In the search for methods to lengthen the longevity of our bridges and roads, conserve resources, and increase safety, 3D printing may be a legitimate option—and this steel bridge is the perfect case study.

A "Living Laboratory"

Initial designs for the bridge.

Joris Laarman Lab

Designers first came up with the concept for the bridge in 2015, with the goal of making an exceptionally efficient structure. To do so, they had to emphasize two things: simplicity and safety. To monitor the efficiency of their design, scientists at Imperial College London engineered the bridge to be a "living laboratory."

A team of structural engineers, computer scientists, and statisticians developed a system of over one dozen embedded sensors for the bridge, which send live data to the university for further analysis of the bridge's performance. They monitor the bridge's movement, vibration, temperature, strain (the change in shape and size of materials under applied forces), and displacement (the amount an object shifts in a specific direction) over time.

From that data, scientists built a "digital twin"—computer science parlance for an identical, virtual rendering—of the bridge that gets more accurate over time. With machine learning, they can now look for trends that might suggest modifications are in order.

➡️ Speaking of Digital Twins...
  • Scientists Are Casually Building Earth's Twin

Still, the process of 3D printing is relatively new, dating back to only the mid-1980s, and digital twins have only been around since 2002. For the public to gain confidence in these technologies, researchers must investigate further. The data collected from the bridge and its digital twin will be open-sourced so that other scientists can examine the long-term behavior of 3D-printed steel.

The Precision of 3D Printing


One of the advantages of 3D printing is its ability to build shapes that would otherwise require more equipment, time, and cost in a traditional manufacturing process. This allows designers to be more creative and consume less resources.

For this bridge, designers utilized two methods of 3D printing—Direct Energy Deposit (DED) and Powder Bed Fusion (PBF). With DED, the printer feeds material (typically in powder or wire form) through a pen-like nozzle, and an intense heat source (typically a laser, but sometimes an electron beam) melts the metal on contact.

PBF works similarly in that a laser or electron beam melts powder down to build each layer. The main advantage of PBF, though, is that it operates with much smaller (and more expensive) parts, resulting in a higher-resolution project than DED could accomplish on its own. This allows designers to take their visions a step further.

➡️ Must-Read
  • The Entire History of Steel

Already, other organizations around the world are employing these manufacturing techniques. The Italian 3D-printing company WASP uses soil to print sustainable shelters. In 2024, the French startup XTreeE is set to build a 131-foot-long 3D-printed construction in Paris before the Olympic games. And the city of Dubai plans to 3D-print 25 percent of its buildings by 2030. The U.S. would do well to follow suit.

"We look forward to continuing this work as the project transitions from underpinning research to investigating the long-term behaviour of metal printed structures," Craig Buchanan, a lecturer at Imperial College London's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said in the prepared statement. "Research into this new technology for the construction industry has huge potential for the future, in terms of aesthetics and highly optimised and efficient design, with reduced material usage. "

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Laura Rider

Laura is the summer 2021 editorial intern for Popular Mechanics, Runner's World, and Bicycling. Her work can also be found at Oprah Daily. She is a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she studies English and Art History. When she isn't fighting the temptation to use passive voice, you can typically find her hunched over her Strat or working on her zine.

The world's first 3D bridge opened in Amsterdam

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July 17, 2021 08:30

Tags: 3d bridge0003



A 3D printed metal bridge is erected across the Oudesijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam. The structure is equipped with sensors so that engineers can monitor its condition in real time. It took six months for the creators to make a product from welded steel using the layer-by-layer printing method.


The world's first 12-metre-long 3D-printed steel footbridge has been installed in Amsterdam.

A bridge built by the Dutch company MX3D has been installed across the Oudesijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam's red light district. The S-shaped bridge has been in the making for over four years. It will become the "living laboratory" of the Dutch capital, since, in addition to its direct functions, it will process data on pedestrian traffic. Researchers from London's Imperial College will take part in evaluating the analytical capabilities of the bridge stuffed with sensors.


The bridge, built by the Dutch company MX3D, was installed across the Oudesijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam's red light district. The S-shaped bridge has been in the making for over four years. It will become the "living laboratory" of the Dutch capital, since, in addition to its direct functions, it will process data on pedestrian traffic. Researchers from London's Imperial College will take part in evaluating the analytical capabilities of the bridge stuffed with sensors.


The data collected from the sensors will allow experts to track how the bridge changes over its lifetime, such as whether steel sags due to footsteps, and estimate how many people are using it. “Such a large 3D printed metal structure designed for pedestrian traffic has never been built before,” said co-author Professor Leroy Gardner of Imperial College’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “We have tested and modeled the structure and all of its components, followed the process throughout the printing process, and are now delighted to see that the bridge is finally open to the public.


Sensor data will also be entered into the bridge's "digital twin", a computerized version that mimics the real bridge. The performance of the bridge will be tested against its twin, which will help answer questions about the suitability of the 3D printed steel and help city planners make decisions about future construction projects.
3D printing uses software to create a 3D design and then a robot prints the product. These robots have nozzles at the ends of their arms that emit printed material - in this case, steel - which is welded on layer by layer. The construction of the new bridge required 4.5 tons of stainless steel. Such a large amount of metal was required for the complex curved design of the structure. The bridge consists of four main parts, as well as four "corner scrolls" that have been hand welded together. Printing began in March 2017 and lasted about six months. The completed bridge was exhibited at Dutch Design Week in October 2018. According to representatives of the MX3D company, the result is not just a functional public facility, but an art installation and a monument to high technologies.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the installation of the bridge was delayed, and it has only just appeared. The developers are sure that such a bridge is not the last one. “3D printing opens up huge opportunities for the construction industry, providing much more freedom in terms of the properties and shapes of materials,” said Professor Gardner. “However, this freedom comes with a number of challenges and will require civil engineers to be able to think in new ways.”


The experts undertook an ambitious research program including cross-sectional tests, computer simulations and field tests. "We've been working for over four years studying the printed microstructure and performing load tests on the finished bridge," said design spokesman Craig Buchanan. “This challenging work was carried out in our test labs as well as during construction on site in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on the printed bridge itself.”

Source: — translated specially for fishki.net

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Residential complex from a 3D printer: lakhtacenter - LiveJournal

Lakhta Center - about a skyscraper and not only ( lakhtacenter ) wrote,

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The city of Eindhoven (Netherlands) is going to build the world's first residential complex of five 3D printed concrete houses.

The Milestone project will be located practically in the forest, the houses will be sustainably and energy-efficient, comfortable and with modern layouts. Construction is subject to all the usual rules and regulations. The first one-story house will be printed this year, and the housewarming will be next. The remaining four houses are multi-storey. They will be built sequentially, each time improving the technology and applying the lessons learned in the previous stages.

The design is based on chaotic blocks in a green landscape. The irregular and somewhat even futuristic shape in the form of rounded boulders appeared due to the key feature of 3D printing: the ability to build and print any shape.

Residential printed complex will be located in the vicinity of the city of Eindhoven, in the town of Bosrijk, which is developing as a "sculpture garden". There are high-quality and ambitious architectural projects placed like sculptures in a continuous landscape.
By the way, Bosrijk is the first place in Eindhoven that is not connected to the gas network.

The first house - one-storey and with a wooden roof, 3 rooms, area 95 m2. The house will be ready for occupancy in mid-2019.
The long time between the design and implementation of the first house is due to the novelty of the project and unusual construction technologies. Further it will be faster and easier.

Designed by Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Multi-storey buildings will have printed concrete floors and a printed concrete roof. The foundations are ordinary, based on the traditional technology of pouring concrete.

Elements of the first house will be printed by a concrete printer at the Eindhoven University of Technology workshop. In the future, the process will gradually be transferred directly to the construction site of the house. The last house will be fully realized on site, including printing works.

Concrete 3D printing is almost any form of construction, accuracy in design and execution, any color and concrete properties. Easy implementation of the customer's wishes for each specific house.

Less concrete required compared to conventional construction. Consequently, cement consumption and CO2 emissions from cement production are reduced.

The Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and the Dutch construction company BAM Infra carried out a joint project in 2017 to print a concrete bridge for cyclists. The 8-meter bridge was printed in sections using 800 layers of reinforced concrete. The bridge can withstand loads up to two tons. Service life 30 years.

The Netherlands also created the world's first 3D printed metal bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. The bridge span is 12.5 meters long and 6.23 meters wide. It took 4.5 tons of steel wire and half a year to create it.

And now - the next experiment in the field of 3D printing in the Netherlands - the residential complex Project Milestone.

These 3D houses are being printed in Dubai, UAE and Beijing, China.

Houses will probably no longer be rectangular…

Printed house by CLS Architetti and Arup, Milano

The attitude towards concrete houses is not unambiguous. Are these printed concrete buildings really good for the 21st century? After all, concrete and steel were the main elements in the architecture of the last century.

Source: houbenvanmierlo.nl, 3dprintedhouse.nl

Tags: 3d, architecture, concrete, printed house, printed bridge, modern technology, building technology